SHARES in Belhaven owner Greene King surged by 7.5 per cent after it revealed a market-beating performance by its managed pubs division in the 18 weeks to September 2, boosted by England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia.

The brewer and pub group said like-for-like sales at its managed division, which numbers more than 2,000 pubs, restaurants and hotels across Scotland, England and Wales, increased by 2.8%.

That came as the wider market saw like-for-like sales growth of 1.2%, according to the closely-watched Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Greene King, which acquired Belhaven in a £187 million deal in 2005, said its growth was even more pronounced in the last 10 weeks of the period. Like-for-like sales grew by 3.2%, with the company citing the impact of warm weather and the World Cup.

Greene King reported a strong performance by its branded local pubs, which saw like-for-like sales growth of 5.5% per cent.

It said 3.7 million pints of beer were sold in total during England’s seven World Cup matches, revealing that like-for-like sales rocketed 61% on the day Gareth Southgate’s men bowed out against Croatia in the semi-final.

However, Greene King’s leased and tenanted pub division, which are run by around 1,200 licensees, fared less well.

Net profit was down 0.4% on a like-for-like basis after 16 weeks, impacted by the timing of higher overhead costs which are expected to balance out over the year.

Total beer volumes in its Brewing & Brands division, which produces Belhaven Best, Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA, climbed 4%. Own-branded volumes were up 0.3%.

Greene King said it remains on course to offload between 100 and 110 pubs this year, and expects to open around nine new outlets.

All resolutions tabled at the company’s annual meeting yesterday were passed. Shares closed up 35.6p at 510.6p.