Shropshire Star

Marston's eyes summer sporting boost as revenue up

Pubs and restaurant group Marston's has seen a rise in revenues as it gears up for a busy summer of sport.

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Marston's at St John's House, St John's Square

The business, with headquarters in Wolverhampton, revealed revenue was up 5.2 per cent to £428.1 million, from £407 million in the first half of last year.

Reporting on the 26 weeks up to March 30, the business, which operates 1,395 pubs across the UK, said it saw good momentum across food and drink sales with like-for-like sales up 7.3 per cent.

Marstons also reported a 22 per cent increase in underlying pub operating profit to £52.7 million, compared to £43.1 million at the same time last year. Underlying pub operating margin was 12.3 per cent, compared to 10.6 per cent in the first half of 2023.

However, the company also revealed statutory loss before tax of £43.5 million, while, on an underlying level, they went to £800,000 from £3.6m.

Marston's said this was a result of two non-cash items – the increase in liabilities from interest rate swaps of £25.8 million, together with a one-off charge of £16 million in respect of CMBC's ale brand impairment and onerous contract provision.

CEO Justin Platt said: "A positive first half has seen Marston's deliver strong like-for-like sales growth of 7.3 per cent outperforming the market and achieving an impressive 22 per cent uplift in pub operating profit.

"We have managed costs well and made further progress to reduce debt. This performance is testament to the dedication and hard work of our talented team, who constantly strive to delight our pub-loving guests."

"The outlook for the second half is encouraging. With a number of 'must not miss' major sporting events, our massively upgraded pub gardens and much-loved food menus, we expect our pubs to be very popular this summer."

"I am very excited by the potential that lies ahead. The UK Pub Market offers significant value-driving opportunities for those who can engage and deliver for their guests. With our high-quality estate and guest obsessed team we are well placed to capitalise and to deliver consistent, reliable cashflows that will drive value for our shareholders."

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