Pub group Marston’s has reported “record” revenue of £1.14b and profit before tax of £104m, up 15% and 4% on last year.
The group’s preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 29 September 2018 detail an “extraordinary” year which saw profit growth in all trading segments and marks its fifth consecutive year of like-for-like sales growth.
The group reported like-for-like sales growth of 0.6%, with wet-led pubs outperforming food-led pubs, and the average profit per pub was up 2%.
Total underlying revenue increased by 14.9% reflecting the rollover benefits of the acquisition of the Charles Wells Beer Business from last year, new brewing distribution contracts and new openings and acquisitions, together with like-for-like sales growth.
During the period, Marston’s opened 14 pubs and restaurants and seven lodges. Ten new pubs, restaurants and bars and five lodges are planned for 2019 – a cautious reduction in its expansion against the backdrop of the challenges seen in the casual dining sector this year.
Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “Marston’s has performed well in a difficult market. Our balanced business model has stood us in good stead, delivering record sales and underlying profits with revenue exceeding £1.1b for the first time. Our Taverns wet-led community pubs and market-leading brewing business had an outstanding year, more than offsetting the effects of weather volatility and the World Cup on our food-led pubs.
“Macro-economic and political uncertainty is reflected in our capital plans this year. However, the outlook for good pubs and brewing remains attractive and Marston’s is well placed to leverage the opportunity this presents with our high quality, well invested estate, leading brands and great people. We expect to make positive progress once again in the current financial year.”
At the year end, Marston’s operated 406 “destination and premium” pubs and 1,139 “taverns”.