Pub giants Marston’s has reported a £43m drop in revenue to £511m which they say as a result of the material impact of the coronavirus.
Marston’s has insisted it is well-placed for a post covid-19 recovery in medium term, and has said that plans are in place for pubs to reopen from 4 July, although initial revenue and earnings profile is uncertain. The pub and brewer enjoys a predominantly freehold pub estate, located outside city centres with 90% having outside space, and states that it is well-placed to benefit from likely supply contraction in sector and gain market share.
The brewer and pub operator made a profit before tax of £9.4m in the 26 weeks to 28 March 2020, down from £34m in the same period in 2019.
Total revenue in its 1,400 pubs and bars fell by 7.2% to £343m, with strong Christmas and new year trading offset by flooding in November and February and the early impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
However Marston’s said it was well-placed to recover in the medium term, with plans to reopen 85%-90% of its pubs on 4 July.
Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “Our immediate priority is to prepare our pubs to reopen on 4 July. While there is short-term uncertainty as the sector emerges from lockdown, we are focused on offering a great guest experience, synonymous with Marston’s hospitality, to welcome our customers back into our pubs within a safe trading environment.
“The challenges facing the sector should not be underestimated and much rests on consumer confidence, which may take time to rebuild. As the industry navigates its way out of lockdown, we will continue to urge government for continued support for pubs and wider hospitality, through the reopening phase and thereafter through business rates relief and cuts to VAT, to protect jobs, the economy and the invaluable role the pub plays in communities nationwide.”