Compared to FY2022, including the impact of Omicron in December and January last financial year, like-for-like sales were up 12.9%.
Sales in the first eight weeks to 26 November 2022 were up 5.0%, as previously reported. In the following eight weeks they were up 4.1% vs FY2020.
LFL sales in the first eight weeks of the 16-week period to 26 November 2022 were up 6.8%, with encouraging trading momentum continuing into the festive period. In the following eight weeks like-for-like sales were up 19.2% vs FY2022.
For the five key festive days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day), LFL sales were up 26% vs FY2022 and up 12.9% vs the 2019/20 festive period.
Total retail sales in the group’s managed and franchised pubs were up 14.0% on last year and up 7.3% vs FY2020.
Drink sales have continued to outperform food sales, once again reinforcing the steadfast trading resilience of our predominantly community pub estate.
The group’s electricity costs are now hedged for the entirety of FY2023 until the end of September 2023, with no change to earnings guidance. The group’s gas price is fixed until the end of March 2025 with no additional incremental spend anticipated.
Marston's CEO Andrew Andrea said: “We have continued to see positive sales momentum through the festive season and into the New Year, with particularly strong demand on the key Christmas and New Year trading days. Whilst we still have certain cost challenges to navigate in 2023, we are well-positioned to continue to progress our strategy and are encouraged by the level of consumer resilience experienced to date.
"The pub clearly remains an affordable treat which is attractive to consumers, and we continue to see good traction from those sites within our portfolio which have been converted to our Signature format.
“Marston’s pub estate is well-invested, and our geography and proposition lends itself to benefit from underlying consumer trends. Whilst still early in the New Year, trading momentum continues to build, and our primary focus remains to meet our strategic goals of achieving £1 billion sales and reducing our debt to below £1 billion with all the subsequent benefits that both of those milestones will bring to our shareholders.”