Pubs group Greene King has announced plans to fully integrate its Scottish business Belhaven in a bid to save the company £1 million.
Greene King said it will combine its brewing company and pubs, which include managed and leased properties, with Belhaven to speed up its growth strategy.
The move will create a 900-strong managed pub estate across UK, which includes brands such as Hungry Horse, Old English and Loch Fyne restaurants.
Greene King, which bought Belhaven in 2005, will retain its breweries in Bury St Edmunds and the Scottish operation’s Dunbar facility and combine the portfolio of ale brands, including Belhaven Best and Greene King IPA.
The announcement comes as Greene King reported a better-than-expected 17% rise in pre-tax profits to £73.1 million, and a 4.2% rise in revenues to £484.1 million.
Greene King said food sales in its retail pubs grew 8.5% on a like-for-like basis in the period and now made up 39% of total retail sales. The company said current trading was strong and Christmas bookings were “comfortably ahead of last year”.
Greene King revealed plans in July to expand its retail business – its managed pubs – and reduce its tenanted sites over the next three to five years. The company, which currently operates 891 retail pubs and more than 1,500 tenanted or leased sites, said it remained on track to hit its targets.
Greene King said it would fully integrate Belhaven into the company next month. The move will not lead to material job losses in Scotland, the company added.
Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said: “We intend to retain the distinctive character of our operations in Scotland and the Belhaven brand will continue to prosper through our continued investment and its strong relationship with our licensees and trade partners.”
Greene King Brewing Company and Belhaven Brewing will be combined into one business – Greene King Brewing and Brands, under the leadership of Euan Venters, the current managing director of Belhaven. Justin Adams, current managing director of Greene King Brewing Company, will step down after five years with the firm.