Marston's reports trading at 94% of 2019 levels

13 October 2021 by
Marston's reports trading at 94% of 2019 levels

In its year-end trading update, pub group Marston's reported a return to growth with overall trading since 12 April at 94% of 2019 levels.

For the most recent quarter from 25 July to 2 October, Marston's said sales were 2% higher than 2019 across its managed and franchised pubs.

Total pub sales were £402m for the year, representing 78% of the prior year, reflecting the significant disruption to trading from the pandemic. The group's entire estate of around 1,500 pubs has been open since 17 May.

During lockdown, Marston's entered into an agreement to operate a portfolio of 156 SA Brain pubs, under a combination of leased and management contract arrangements. The group said the sites have "performed well and ahead of expectations".

At the year end, Marston's had £90m of headroom against its £280m bank facility.

The group said that while the labour market "remains tight, particularly in city centres", it was "managing this well" though it had seen "some small pockets of disruption" across its supply chain.

Chief executive Andrew Andrea said: "We are delighted to be fully open again since trading restrictions were lifted in July. We are encouraged by the trading momentum which we have experienced since April and pleased to be trading robustly and above 2019 levels again.

"Our business benefits from an optimally balanced pub estate of food and wet led pubs that are predominately suburban, community based and well located for the changes in consumer behaviour that we are seeing. However, we are mindful of consumer confidence in the short term and the challenges impacting the economy and our industry. Government messaging will remain a key factor in determining sentiment."

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