Food drives Marston's sales growth
16 March, 2011
Marston's, the major regional brewer and pub operator, saw like-for-like sales in its managed pubs grow 2.4% in the last 23 weeks - with food sales up 4.7%.
The company siad that current trading was even healthier. with like-for-likes in the past seven weeks 3.0% ahead of last year. Operating margin was also slightly ahead of last year.
Updating on trading in the 23 weeks to 12 March 2011, it said alcohol sales were also seeing an uplift with lfls up 1.5%.
Martson's is on target to open 20 new pubs in the year to 30 September 2011, having completed five new pub-restaurants to date with a further three due to complete in the next eight weeks.
Douglas Jack, analyst at Numis said: "We believe regional performance differences have been minimal. Market positioning has been more important: food-led pubs have outperformed wet-led, but both are in growth. New pub restaurant sales rose further in Q2, having achieved £25,000 of average weekly sales in Q1 vs Q1 2010's £23,000 and a £20,000 target."
In its tenanted and leased pubs division, underlying profit trends continued to improve. Like-for-like profits are estimated to be 0.1% ahead of last year, which compares favourably to the 4% decline in financial year 2010, it said. The improvement was attributable primarily to the continuing rollout of its franchise-style Retail Agreement.
In Marston's Beer Company, our own-brewed beer volumes were up 4%, against a UK ale market down by around 7%. "Our focus on localness and premium ale continues to drive growth, with premium cask ale up 5% and bottled ale up 16% in the period," said a spokesman.