The estate has been segmented into three groups - Destination and Premium (339 sites), which are managed pubs where the food sales mix is high and the primary reason to visit is for dining; Taverns (156 managed pubs, 1,242 tenanted and franchised pubs, including 379 identified for disposal), where drink sales are high but food is increasingly important; and Leased (391 sites), which are high quality independent pubs that benefit from a higher degree of independence.
Leading analyst Douglas Jack said the changes will better highlight the growth in food-led pubs.
Marston’s said snow and exceptionally cold weather throughout the UK in the three months to the end of March “inevitably affected trading across our pub estate and we expect to report operating profit for the first half slightly below that of last year”.
It said that as previously mentioned, the interest charge for the period will be higher, “principally due to the step-up in securitised interest”. “However, our expectations for the overall trading performance for the full year remain unchanged.”
“As part of the operational restructuring described above and our ongoing focus on minimising costs, we expect to reduce operating costs by around £3m per year, with about half of this amount benefitting the results for the second half of this year.”
Marston’s said trading has “started well” in H2 and “we expect to benefit from less challenging sales comparatives for the remainder of the financial year”.
The company has opened nine new pub restaurants in the financial year to date and it anticipates opening at least 20 by the end of the year. This, “combined with the rollover benefit of the back-ended 2012 programme, will generate additional profit in the second half”.
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