Marston's Destination and Premium festive sales grow

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Christmas

Marston's chief Ralph Findlay said the company served a record 55,000 meals on Christmas Day
Marston's chief Ralph Findlay said the company served a record 55,000 meals on Christmas Day
Marston’s, the brewer and pub operator, saw like-for-like sales grow 3.3% over the key festive period (three weeks to 3 January) in its Destination and Premium division.

Like-for-likes across the 15 weeks to 18 January increased by 4.1% in that division (food: +5.6%, drinks +2.2%). The growth over the three weeks to 3 January compares to an increase of 5.8% in the corresponding period last year.

In its Taverns arm, managed and franchise pub like-for-like sales were 3% ahead of last year, with “strong Christmas and New Year trading”.

“Our franchise model continues to prove successful, providing motivated licensees with local flexibility while improving the quality, consistency and value of the consumer offer, and reducing risk for the licensee,” Marston’s said.

In Leased, profits are estimated to be around 1% ahead of last year.

In its Brewing arm, Marston’s said that although volumes are just below last year, “continued growth in premium ales has benefited operating margins, resulting in profits being slightly ahead”.

Net debt and cash flow are “in line with our expectations”.

'Excellent value'

Overall operating margins are slightly ahead of last year and its accelerated plans for 25-30 newbuild pub restaurants in the current financial year are “on track”, with eleven openings expected in the first half.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive, said: “We traded well over the Christmas period as customers responded to our excellent value festive offers, with 55,000 meals served on Christmas Day - a record.

“Our performance in the first quarter has been good and, encouragingly, we have achieved growth in each of our key trading divisions. We continue to strive to ensure that our pubs and beers meet the high standards our customers expect and provide outstanding value for money.”

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