Marston's has become the latest in the line of big companies to report positive sales over Christmas, with like-for-like sales in its managed pubs for the 16 weeks to 21 January up 5% on the previous year.
Like-for-like food sales climbed 5.5% but wet sales also rose by 4.8%. And like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to 21 January were up 7% as a result of the poor weather in the previous year.
Marston's said operating margins were "in line" with last year and its plan to build around 25 pub-restaurants in the current financial year remained on track.
Meanwhile, the company also saw some improvement in its leased, tenanted and franchised pubs. Profits for the 16-week period were estimated to be around 3% above last year, with 4% growth in the eight weeks to 21 January.
In Marston's Beer Company, its own-brewed beer volumes were 2% above last year. Premium cask ale was up 3% and bottled ale up 7% compared with last year.
By Neil Gerrard
E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.thecaterer.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with TheCaterer.com jobs
Blogs on TheCaterer.com
Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
Published by: The Caterer