The company said like-for-like food sales were up by 3.3% in P&D, assisted by strong growth in sales of starters, desserts and coffee.
The brewer and pub operator said in its managed and franchised pubs like-for-like sales were up 2.1% on last year and operating profits were up 5.7%.
The company said the current year had started well, with like-for-like sales growth in Destination and Premium pubs of 2.1% for the 7 weeks to 22 November, including food sales growth of 2.1% and drinks sales growth of 2%. Operating margins are up on last year, it said.
In Taverns, like-for-like sales have grown by 2% and in its Leased estate, profits are up on last year. The company said trading was ahead of last year in Brewing with a strong Halloween performance from Hobgoblin.
Across the group profit before tax for the year was down 3.6% to £83m, reflecting disposals and shorter trading period, but underlying group revenue was up 1% to £787.6m. It said returns on capital stood at 10.5%.
The company said its two year transformation of its pub estate was on track, with average profit per pub up 10%.
It described year-on-year comparisons as reflecting significant disposal activity, in particular the portfolio disposal of 202 pubs in November 2013 (which generated annual revenue of £29.6m and operating profit of £10.8m),
The company opened 27 new-build pub-restaurants in FY2014 including the 100th new-build pub in Dumfries, Scotland. It also sold 388 smaller wet-led pubs and other assets, realising proceeds of £144m for reinvestment. As at the year end, the group’s estate comprised 1,689 pubs against 2,050 in 2013.
Marston’s reported a 19% increase in average profit per pub over the last two years and stressed that 75% of profits from its pubs are now generated by managed or franchise-style pubs.
It described 2014 as an “excellent year in Brewing”, saying its focus on premium and regional beers reflected strong consumer interest in this segment of the market.
Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “This year we have made good progress in transforming the quality of our pub estate through the continuation of our new-build development plans and the disposal of weaker pubs. Our Brewing business is benefiting from our category leadership in premium ale and new product development.
“There are some signs of modest economic improvement, with the emergence of real wage growth and resilience within the economic regions outside London.
“Looking forward, we will continue with our expansion strategy to invest in at least 25 new-build pubs each year. We also remain on track to dispose of the residual 200 pubs targeted for sale from our Taverns estate over the next 12 months to create the desired structure for our business for the future.”