The pub operator announced total EPOS sales were at 99% of H1 2019 and a total revenue of £369.7m despite disruption due to the Omicron variant. LFLs were up 1.3% in first eight weeks of the period and subsequently declined by 8.8% after 27 November due to Omicron-related restrictions.
The operator also reported new additions to the senior team, pub conversions to generate stronger returns, a menu overhaul focusing on simplicity and efficiency, and an innovated people proposition to improve recruitment and retention.
Marston’s claims it is well placed to reduce net debt and evolve its 1,482-strong estate, with limited exposure to city centres and LFLs in the past six weeks slightly higher relative to 2019.
CEO Andrew Andrea commented: “We are pleased that since restrictions lifted trading has largely normalised enabling us to return to profitable trading, as well as focusing - and making considerable progress - on our strategic growth plans towards achieving £1bn of sales. We remain on track to reduce the Group’s debt by the end of FY2022.
“We continue to evolve our estate to maximise returns and will have transitioned away from the value food segment, our Two for One brand, by the end of September. Investment into our estate through conversions and refurbishments continued in H1, with a further eight projects scheduled in H2, targeting a minimum return of 30%.”