Marston’s records £105.5m loss

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Clear vision': 'Despite the challenges of the last year, the actions we have taken have ensured that Marston’s has emerged a stronger and more focused business with a substantially strengthened balance sheet', according to Marston's Ralph Findlay
'Clear vision': 'Despite the challenges of the last year, the actions we have taken have ensured that Marston’s has emerged a stronger and more focused business with a substantially strengthened balance sheet', according to Marston's Ralph Findlay

Related tags: Marston's pub company, Finance, Coronavirus, Pubco + head office

While pub operator Marston’s has revealed a £105.5m pre-tax loss in the 26 weeks to 3 April, the firm cites post-lockdown sales hitting 80% of pre-pandemic levels as cause for optimism.

According to its most recent interim results statement for the 26 weeks to 3 April, the Wolverhampton-based operator of 1,500 pubs revealed a total pre-tax loss of £105.5m – versus £31.1m recorded during the equivalent period in the previous financial year. 

On top of this, Marston’s revealed that its total revenue fell from £343.3m during the first half of the previous financial year, to £55.1m during the most recent half-year.

However, the firm posted a net profit of £199.3m – compared to a £28m loss made during the equivalent period during the previous financial year – due to £291m made from the its disposal of brewing business into the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company​ joint venture. 

Marston’s also revealed that it had drawn down £164m of a £280m bank facility, which is in place until 2024, providing headroom of £116m.

Previously, the firm revealed that it made a total loss of £397.1m​ during the year to 3 October 2020 following the closure of its near 1,400 strong pub estate for 15 weeks.

‘Encouraging’ trading 

Commenting on his last set of results as chief executive – with Andrew Andrea​ poised to take the reins from 3 October 2021 – Ralph Findlay expressed his confidence that the business is in an “excellent position” to return to growth.

“Despite the challenges of the last year, the actions we have taken have ensured that Marston’s has emerged a stronger and more focused business with a substantially strengthened balance sheet, a 40% stake in Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company and a clear vision for the future,” he explained. 

What’s more, off the back of like-for-like sales hitting 80% of pre-Covid levels across an estate of close to 1,000 pubs reopened throughout April, Findlay saw cause for optimism for the weeks and months ahead. 

“Whilst still early days, trading has been encouraging since we were permitted to open our doors for outdoor trading last month and it has been fantastic to have our teams back in the business, doing what they do best, and welcoming customers back into our pubs,” he explained. 

“Our recent strategic investment in additional outdoor trading areas ahead of reopening has enabled us to capitalise on the clear pent- up consumer demand for the pub. We look forward to all trading restrictions being removed next month which signals a return to some semblance of normality.” 

As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​, Marston’s recently knocked back a proposed takeover attempt from American-based private equity firm Platinum Equity Investors​.  

Additionally, in December Marston’s announced that it would be operating SA Brain’s portfolio of 156 pubs in Wales​on a combination of leased and management contract arrangements, safeguarding 1,300 jobs.

Related topics: Marston's

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