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Zero Marston’s licensees have taken up MRO since pubs code started

By Liam Coleman , 19-May-2017
Last updated on 19-May-2017 at 18:00 GMT2017-05-19T18:00:21Z

Position 'enhanced': Ralph Findlay is optimistic about the successful acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer
Position 'enhanced': Ralph Findlay is optimistic about the successful acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer

No licensees in Marston’s sites have taken up the market-rent-only (MRO) option and gone free of tie since the pubs code took effect in July 2016.

Following the publication of its latest financial results, the pubco confirmed that only six licensees had requested MRO offers and that none of these were yet to break the tie and take up an MRO offer.

Ei announced this week that it was anticipating an 18% loss in net income from each of its four sites that had gone MRO, but a spokesperson for Marston’s said the company did not have its own estimates, due to the low take up of MRO.

Profits on the up

In the financial results, Marston’s revealed that like-for-like sales in its Taverns estate of 823 pubs were up 1.7% compared to the same time a year earlier.

Meanwhile like-for-like profits in its leased estate of 365 pubs was up 2% in the 26 weeks to April 2017.

The result was that the pubco’s average profit per pub increased 3% over the period.

Marston’s added it was on track to open 23 pubs and eight lodges with accommodation over the current financial year.

Charles Wells acquisition

The financial results and MRO figures come at the same time as the pubco announcing that it had acquired Charles Wells’ brewing business for £55m.

Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “The Taverns estate has been repositioned, having sold around 1,000 pubs and introduced pioneering franchise-style agreements designed for community pubs.

“Our market position will be enhanced by the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business.”

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