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Marston's delivers 'strong' LFL sales growth in H1, sees busy summer ahead

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Tuesday 14 May 2024

Marston's delivers 'strong' LFL sales growth in H1, sees busy summer ahead

(Sharecast News) - Brewing company Marston's said on Tuesday that it had delivered "strong" like-for-like sales growth in H1, driving "good growth" in pub operating profits.
Marston's said revenue was up 5.2% to £428.1m for the six months ended 30 March, with good momentum across food and drink sales and like-for-like sales up 7.3%, outperforming the broader market, while underlying pub operating profits increased 22% to £52.7m. Underlying pub operating margins expanded to 12.3% from 10.6% a year earlier.

However, statutory pre-tax losses widened to £43.5m from £38.1m, primarily a result of increased liabilities from interest rate swaps of £25.8m and a one-off charge of £16.0m in respect of CMBC's ale brand impairment and onerous contract provision.

Looking ahead, Marston's said it had made an "encouraging start" to H2, with like-for-like sales in the last six weeks up 4.0% year-on-year. Marston's also noted that as with prior years, trading would be impacted by the seasonality of trade which typically sees the majority of revenue, profit and cash flow generated in H2.

Chief executive Justin Platt said: "A positive H1, Marston's has delivered strong like-for-like sales growth of +7.3% outperforming the market and achieving an impressive 22% uplift in pub operating profit. We have managed costs well and made further progress to reduce debt.

"The outlook for H2 is encouraging. With a number of 'must not miss' major sporting events, our massively upgraded pub gardens and much-loved food menus, we expect our pubs to be very popular this summer."

As of 1145 BST, Marston's shares were down 6.67% at 31.50p.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com


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