Search

Greene King boss urges thousands of EU staff to stay post Brexit as he prepares to call time on ‘very special part of my life’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:45 29 November 2018

Rooney Anand of Greene King  Picture: GREENE KING

Rooney Anand of Greene King Picture: GREENE KING

Archant

Being at the helm of one of the giants of the UK’s pubs and brewing industry has been “a great journey and an adventure” said its chief as he enters his final few months in post.

Rooney Anand, the transformational chief executive of Greene King, who has seen the group grow almost beyond recognition in his 14 years in post, is due to call time on April 30, 2019. “It’s a very special part of my life,” he said.

Current turnover, published in its interim report on Thursday (November 29), was at £1.051bn for the first six months to October 24, and the Bury St Edmunds firm has outperformed the sector in all but one of the months over that period, presenting Mr Anand with a pleasing start to his final year in charge. “It’s a very pleasing first half - the team has done a fantastic job,” he said.

Greene King interim results

Higher costs - wages, raw materials and rates - have hit the sector, but moves to make outlets customer-friendly and responsive were paying dividends. A new generation of discerning drinkers were making an impact, he observed, with big increases in gin sales - up by 89% - and craft beers, which rose by 36%. “It’s more premium, it’s more expensive, they drink less,” he said.

Gin ranges at Greene King pubs had been broadened, with attractive glassware and greater ranges of flavours and upmarket mixers available, helping towards the remarkable boost in sales.

Restaurants and pubs sector shrinks

There are other challenges for the firm, such as Brexit. With 9.2% of the group’s 39k staff - or around 3,700 people - coming from the European Union, the company has been keen to reassure them in the face of the uncertainties that was creating. “We are working with them and helping and supporting them to make them feel very much part of the family and not wanting to go back,” he said.

But while the company is mitigating against the potential effects of Brexit, Mr Anand would not be drawn on the potential implications of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. “I think we need to wait and see after December 11,” he said.

The Brexit factor

Mr Anand, who lives in Cambridge, said he would probably remain in the area after stepping down, no doubt enjoying his tipple of choice, Greene King IPA, in one of the chain’s local pubs, of which there are around 500 in the region.

During the first half, the firm invested £2.9m in 18 of its pubs across East Anglia, a region in which it employs around 5,000 staff. He would be “sad” to leave his many colleagues, he admitted.

“It has been a great honour to lead the company and to be part of a really great journey and adventure,” he said.

“I hope to leave behind something that’s become a household name and the biggest factor over the years has been the calibre of people who have wanted to work for us.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

Yesterday, 19:51

Two people have been killed in a collision on a road near Newmarket.

Yesterday, 16:52

Bostik North

Brentwood Town 1

Bury Town 1

Bury Town picked up another point on their travels but had to hold on at the end to secure another draw, writes John Alcock.

Fears have been raised that Suffolk may have a systemic problem with how children’s homes are run after a third establishment was given a poor Ofsted rating in the last 10 weeks.

National League Two South

Bury St Edmunds 14

Canterbury 20

The City side did just enough to hold off a pumped up Bury side to earn the spoils and keep their promotion campaign intact, writes Simon Lord.

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 3°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Bury Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24