Pub operator Greene King warned the result of the 23 June EU referendum may lead to drinkers sinking fewer pints as consumer confidence takes a knock.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said: "It is likely that consumer confidence will be affected by Brexit in the near-term".

However, the firm posted a strong set of annual results in the wake of its £774m acquisition of rival Spirit last year, as revenues jumped 57.6% to £2bn in the 12 months to May 1.

Pre-tax profit lifted 52.2% to £256.5m in the same period. Anand added: "Greene King has a strong track record of performing well in challenging conditions."

Since the completion of its takeover of Spirit last June, the Bury St. Edmund-based group now owns 3,035 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at broker Hargreaves Lansdown said: "Overall, this looks like a good start for the combined group, though as with many businesses the economic impact of the Brexit vote remains to be seen."