Greene King solid

Greene King's new financial year has got off to a solid start. The pub and brewing company has seen encouraging growth in its self-managed pub and restaurant business, which accounts for about 70 per cent of revenue, in the 18 weeks to 5 September 2010.

In the retail division, Greene King pubs have reported 4.4 per cent like-for-like growth while its Belhaven pubs, which are principally based in Scotland, have seen 3.3 per cent like-for-like growth.

Tenanted pubs have been a thorn in the industry's side during the recession as tenants have struggled to compete, but At Greene King they managed a small increase in average cash profits per pub in the 18-week period. Like-for-like brewing volumes were also marginally ahead despite an 8 per cent decline in the market.

Broker Peel Hunt forecasts full-year underlying EPS of 45.8p and a 22.6p dividend (43.2p and 21.5p in 2010).

What we said:

Price: 418p

When: 15/10/09

IC View

Greene King is only up 3 per cent since our tip, but the dividend was always the key attraction. With the shares at 430p, the 5.3 per cent yield continues to look very tempting. A valuation of nine times earnings also looks good given the solid trading. Buy

Last IC view: Buy, 395p, 1 Jul 2010

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