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Strong Xmas cheers Marston's sales

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Friday 24 Jan 2020

(Sharecast News) - Festive Britons helped pub group Marston's deliver a rise in sales over the Christmas period despite poor weather keeping people at home in the first three weeks of December.
The company on Friday said trading over the Christmas fortnight was strong, with like-for-like sales growth of 4.5%, compensating for more "subdued trading" earlier in the month. Total sales rose 1% in the 16 weeks to January 18.

Martson's said second half costs would increase by an £2m - £3m after a higher-than-expected rise in Britain's minimum wage from April.

"Looking forward, greater clarity on the political agenda should positively impact consumer confidence," Marton's said, referring to December's General Election win by the conservative Party.

"Overall the economic environment for the consumer looks encouraging with low unemployment and healthy wage growth providing us with increasing confidence that the market will grow in 2020," it added.

The company, which is aiming to cut debt by £200m by 2023 through an accelerated disposals programme, said it would increase its sell-off proceeds target to £85m - £90m from £70m.

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