Greene King's pub company had a record breaking Christmas Day but sales either side of the two Christmas weeks sales were slower. The group said this reflected the tough underlying trading environment and the impact of snow and pub company sales for the 37 weeks to 14 Jan were down 1.4%. The group said it traded well over the Christmas period with pub company like-for-like sales up 1.6% for the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year's Eve, in line with the market and against a strong period last year. A trading statement said: 'Excluding the snow impact, LFL sales would have been up 3.4%. 'We achieved another record breaking Christmas Day in pub company with sales of £7.6m, up 2.6% on last year, and 154,000 meals sold.' Drink and room LFL sales were ahead of last year while food LFL sales remained behind last year. Pub Partners LFL net profit for the first 36 weeks of the year was up 0.2% while brewing & brands own-brewed volume was down 0.9% for the first 37 weeks, against a weak ale market down 3.0%. The group said: 'We remain on track to deliver targeted cost savings of £40m-£45m this year and our brand optimisation programme continues to deliver attractive returns of 25%. 'Both our new build and disposal programmes are also on track with six new sites opened and 40 disposals completed in the year-to-date. 'Our additional investment to enhance the customer experience, including being more competitive on price, having more team members available at key trading times and strengthening local marketing activity, will help to improve our competitiveness and relative trading performance. 'Greene King has industry-leading brands, a strong and flexible balance sheet, and a sustainable dividend, leaving us well placed given the challenging market conditions.'
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