Marston's has seen sales of both food and drink rise in its managed pubs division, as overall like-for-like sales increased by 1.7% in the nine weeks to 2 October.
The company said that food now accounted for 40% of its sales in its Inns and Taverns arm, thanks to a series of food offers. It added that operating margins had also improved this year thanks to tighter cost control, lower utility costs and the disposal of 17 lower-margin leasehold sites.
Meanwhile, Marston's said like-for-like profits in its tenanted and leased division would be 3.7% below last year, compared with the 4.5% decline reported in its interim results in May.
Turnover and operating profit in Marston's Beer Company are expected to be "slightly ahead" of last year against strong comparatives. Own-brewed ale volumes were slightly lower than the prior year. Premium ale volumes increased by 3% in the period.
Marston's has also opened 15 new sites during the year as planned, with both turnover and profit performance in the new openings ahead of targets. It expects to open 20 new pub-restaurants in 2011 and 25 in 2012.
The company's preliminary full-year results will be published on 2 December 2010.
By Neil Gerrard
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