Pub group Greene King reported better-than-expected full-year profits and said its retail business generated revenue of more than £1bn for the first time.
The Bury St Edmunds-based firm, which runs around 1,900 pubs and restaurants, as well as breweries, reported a pretax profit of £168.5m for the 52 weeks ended May 3.
While revenue rose 3 per cent to £1.31bn at Greene King.
Rooney Anand, Greene King chief executive officer, said the group had delivered another record year in a challenging trading environment.
He added: “We have delivered good underlying growth across all parts of the business with retail generating revenue of over £1bn for the first time. Underlying earnings growth of over 9 per cent has enabled a dividend increase of 4.8 per cent, reflecting our confidence in the strength of the business and its prospects for future growth.”
He also said the firm had completed its five-year strategic plan as it changed its business mix to better place itself for the future. Expanded retail sites by 19.4 per cent and increasing tenanted EBITDA per pub by 33 per cent.
The company also completed acquisition of Spirit Pub Company plc, post year-end.
Mr Anand said: “We now enter another exciting new phase in the company’s history, with the acquisition of Spirit.
“We warmly welcome Spirit’s employees and its shareholders to Greene King.
“The acquisition will further strengthen our platform to deliver sustainable, long-term success for the benefit of our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”