Marston's delivered growth across its key trading divisions in the first half of the year and confirmed it is on track to complete 15 new build pub-restaurants during full-year 2010.
For the 26 weeks to April 3 the group achieved like-for-like sales growth of 1.4 per cent in its managed pub division, and although the tenanted and leased pubs recorded like-for-like profits down 4.6 per cent this compared favourably with the 4.9 per cent decline reported in January.
A key driver was the continued demand for food by pub-goers and Marston's enjoyed like-for-like food sales growth of 2.5 per cent. Wet sales also improved, by 0.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis, but own-brewed beer volumes continue on a flat year-on-year trend.
The growth in drinks continues to come from premium ales where volumes increased by four per cent, which compared strongly with the one per cent recorded for the first 16 weeks of the year.
The company confirmed it is on track to build 15 new food-led managed pub-restaurants by the year-end 2010 having already begun trading through six such units in the first half and with builders on-site at all the remaining nine locations.
Marston's positive performance has continued into the second half with trading over the Easter holiday "slightly ahead of last year". The company's share price was up two per cent following the trading statement.