Marston's sees 15% profit growth
17 May, 2012
Marston's, the pub operator and brewer, saw underlying pre-tax profits grow 15% in the 26 weeks to 31 March, with total sales up 7.6% to £342.1m. Like-for-like sales in its managed pubs were ahead 3.6%.
The company said it was on target to complete 25 new-build managed pubs this financial year, and was continuing to achieve strong returns with an EBITDA ROC of 18.5%. Manged pubs had seen an 11% increase in main meals served, with food sales now representing 43% of retail sales. Total managed pub revenue increased by 4.8% to £190.4m, with like-for-like food sales up 3.9% and like-for-like drink sales up 3.6%.
Tenanted and franchised pubs saw operating profits up 3.1%. Its new franchised pub development plan had been implemented in 419 pubs to date with profit uplift "in line with targets".
Brewing revenue up 6.6% and operating profit up 2.7%. Group pre-tax profit came in at £33.5m. Marstons added that group ale volumes were up 2% over the six months period, with "strong growth and market share gains" in premium ale.
However, the company added that managed lfl sales growth had slipped to +2.4% for the 32 weeks to 12 May, with lfl food sales up 2.7% and lfl wet sales up 2.3%. This reflects poor trading in April, with today's Coffer Peach Business Tracker showing a -2% fall in like-for-likes for the month across the whole managed pub and restaurant sector.
Peach figures show average like-for-like growth for the 12 months to date across the whole sector running at 1.8%.
A full run down of the Marston's results can be downloaded at www.marstons.co.uk/
Ralph Findlay, Martson's ceo, said: “We have delivered a good performance in the first half year against a weak consumer backdrop. Our growth in revenue and earnings was underpinned by our strategic focus on delivering value, high service standards and a quality offering to our consumers and customers. Our confidence that we are well positioned for the future is reflected in our declared dividend increase.”
Commenting on the new-build pub policy, Findlay said: "The performance of the sites built since 2010 continues to be strong, with average turnover of around £27,000 per week, well ahead of our initial £20,000 per week target."
On the development of tits Franchise Agreement, he added: "We have indicated our intention to convert around 600 pubs in the tenanted estate to our innovative franchise agreement. Franchising pubs is relatively new, but the introduction of this type of agreement in 2009 has enabled us to offer higher standards and greater consistency to pub customers, as well as providing a high level of support to the licensee. We have converted 419 pubs to date and the results have been strong and continue to improve. The model has significant potential to evolve further, and we are trialling Franchise Agreements which may be appropriate for a wider range of pubs, including managed pubs. We expect to be able to report further on those trials at the year end."
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