But signalling its confidence in the business going forward, British brewer and restaurant owner increased its dividend for the recent year by 6.8%.
Revenues on the other hand rose to
The company's brewing business, which includes the brands Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale, continued to be driven by its premier ale brand Old Speckled Hen.
"Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we anticipate an improvement in like-for-like retail sales and continued momentum in both
The company declared a 6.8% increase in its dividend for the year, to
The group also said it is seeing regional differences, with its
"Current trading appears a little soft with like-for-like sales in the core retail (managed pubs) division ahead just 1.1%... with the statement highlighting a soft May and June in the eating and drinking out markets," said analysts at
However, outside the managed-pub business,
During the year, the group disposed of 133 non-core sites, transferred 15 sites to its retail portfolio, and signed a deal to sell a further 275 non-core tenanted sites to Hawthorn Leisure.
The group said it plans to open 50 to 60 new retail sites this year.
"Looking forward, while the impact of selling a significant number of non-core pubs will slow growth in the new financial year, a combination of an improving external environment, maintained sales momentum in retail and the continuation of our successful retail expansion programme should deliver strong and sustainable earnings and dividend growth," the company said.
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