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10 Oct 2018 | 08:30

Marston's sees profit rising 3.9% after summer pub boost

Pub group and brewer Marston's said it expected to post a 15% rise in annual revenue, though profit growth would be kept more modest by higher interests charges.

Turnover for the year through 29 September rose to £1.1bn, the company said.

Underlying pre-tax profit was expected to rise 3.9% to £104m, with 'higher operating profits in each of our trading segments offset by higher interest charges'.

'Strong trading during the World Cup and warm summer weather contributed to our achieving record revenue and underlying profit before tax for the financial year,' Marston's said.

Pub sales increased 3.2%, including like-for-like sales growth of 0.6%.

In the most recent 10 weeks, like-for-like sales were up 1.6%.

However, food-led 'destination' pubs were impacted by poor weather in the first half, and weaker trading during the World Cup. Like-for-like sales fell 1.2% in that division.

In the last 10 weeks, however, momentum had improved with like-for-like sales up 0.1% on last year.

The brewing division achieved 'strong growth', with total volumes up around 47%, benefitting from the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business, good summer weather and the World Cup.

'We have seen clear benefit from our balanced portfolio having achieved good growth in wet-led pubs and from brewing, maximising the trading opportunities provided by the good summer weather and World Cup,' chief executive Ralph Findlay said.

'Although trading in destination food-led pubs was weaker, this predominantly reflects issues beyond our control relating to unseasonal weather extremes and the World Cup.'

'However we are encouraged that our dining pubs are now seeing improving momentum and we expect to make further progress in 2019.'

'We are meeting the demands of our customers and continue to manage the inflationary cost environment well, which gives us confidence for the future.'

At 8:30am: (LON:MARS) Marstons PLC share price was -3.15p at 98.05p

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