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Marston’s Reports Sales Boost Due To Summer’s ‘Warm Weather’

Marston’s pub company has reported a 10.9% increase in like-for-like sales in the 16 weeks to 22 July 2023, as it said the level of “customer demand continues to be good”.

It said the increase in like-for-like sales in the 16 weeks reflected the warmer weather in June, which enabled it to maximise the return on investment in its outdoor trading areas undertaken ahead of the summer months. Like-for-like sales for the 42-week period were up 10.7% versus FY2022. It said that both drink sales and food sales have been strong, demonstrating the “steadfast trading resilience of our predominantly community pub estate”.

Total retail sales in the group’s managed and franchised pubs for the 42-week period were up 12% on last year. The company said: “The level of customer demand continues to be good, demonstrating that the positive experiences our guests have in our pubs is important and continues to drive demand. As we set out in the interim results, we trialled rolling out the franchise-style model in 13 of our food-led managed pubs to complement the 717 wet-led pubs currently operated under this model.

We are very pleased with the result of the trial, with sales growth exceeding our broader food business. As a consequence, we expect to grow the number of food-led partnerships to more than 50 pubs in 2024 and will continue to invest in the future growth of the business and remains well-positioned to deliver positive trading from its community pubs across the UK.

Andrew Andrea, CEO, commented:
“Marston’s has delivered another strong trading performance, validating the strategy we are implementing and demonstrating the appeal of our pubs. We are making good progress and are beginning to see the benefits of the actions we have taken in H1, simplifying our trading formats and repositioning our pub portfolio, as well as the investments we have made in our pub gardens and outside trading areas.

“In addition, we are encouraged by the success of the trial extending the partnership model into our food-led pubs. The trial has been positive and we will extend this model to over 50 food-led pubs in FY2024. Marston’s pioneered the operator managed agreement in 2009, which now operates in over 700 wet-led pubs, and we are pleased to lead the evolution of this format and are excited about its future growth potential for our business.

“We remain focused on delivering on our debt reduction strategy and continue to make good progress in that regard. Whilst macro-economic challenges persist for the time being, we remain encouraged by the Group’s trading resilience and that the pub remains an affordable treat for our guests. An improving cost outlook, together with the actions we are taking to maximise efficiencies, leaves Marston’s well-placed to navigate through ongoing economic headwinds”.