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Marston's to open first London site in 10 years

By Liam Coleman , 25-Jan-2017
Last updated on 27-Jan-2017 at 12:18 GMT2017-01-27T12:18:53Z

Expansion: Marston's currently operates the Pitcher & Piano on Cornhill, central London
Expansion: Marston's currently operates the Pitcher & Piano on Cornhill, central London

Marston's has followed up its positive financial results by revealing that the company plans to open a new site in London for the first time in 10 years.

The Wolverhampton-based pubco has been looking to open 20 new pub-restaurants and bars in this financial year and yesterday (24 January) revealed that one of those sites will be in London.

"It will open in Hammersmith [in west London] by the end of the year; I don’t think we have opened a pub in London for around a decade," the company's chief executive Ralph Findlay told The Evening Standard.

Marston's currently has a 15-strong estate of sites inside the M25, including iconic central London venues such as the Pitcher & Piano on Cornhill; the Fire Station in Waterloo; and the Low, Slow & Juke in Westminster. However, its investment in the capital had cooled in recent years.

That has now changed with the company giving a boost to the capital's drinking scene. "The market there continues to be strong, so we’ve decided to expand," Findlay said when explaining the company's decision to pursue a new site in Hammersmith.

'Well positioned'

The brewer behind the likes of Pedigree has this week posted strong financial results with the Taverns arm of the company, Managed and Franchised pub like-for-like sales up 1.5% on last year, thanks to another impressive year of Christmas trading.

Simon French from financial analysts Cenko said: "While the update may lack the stellar sales growth reported by Mitchells & Butlers over the Christmas period, the contrast in margin is stark and we believe the group is well positioned to continue its outperformance of the market."

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