The Wolverhampton-based pub company gave a trading update for the 16-week period to 20 January 2024 ahead of its annual general meeting.
Total retail sales in the group’s managed and franchised pubs for the 16-week period were up 8.8% versus the same period in the company’s 2023 financial year (FY23).
Marston’s added both drink sales and food sales have been strong, demonstrating the resilience and appeal of its predominantly suburban pubs.
Strong festive period
The pubco said like-for-like sales for the 16-week period to 20 January 2024 were up 8.1%, which reflected strong trading over the festive period.
While like-for-like sales in the first nine weeks of the 16-week period to 2 December 2023 were up 7.4% as previously reported, with positive trading momentum continuing into the festive period. In the following seven weeks, like-for-like sales rose by 8.4%.
For the key festive days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve), like-for-like sales were up 9.6%.
Well-positioned for 2024
Marston’s CEO Justin Platt said: “I am pleased to report a strong trading performance with like-for-likes up 8.4% over the festive period. It has been an encouraging start to the year.
“This, together with an improving outlook in which inflationary headwinds are broadly abating, and the actions we are taking to operate more efficiently and rebuild margins, position Marston’s well for the year ahead.
“I am delighted to have joined Marston’s and am excited about the opportunity ahead. This is a great business and, while still early days, I’ve been impressed by the dedication, talent and expertise of the team.
“I look forward to getting to know both the team, and the business, better over the weeks and months ahead and working together to build on the trading momentum to maximise the group’s future potential.”