Marstons annual losses hit almost £400m

Pub company and brewer, Marston's has reported its figures for the year end 3 October 2020 showing a total pre-tax loss of £397.1m, compared with a loss of £20.1m last year.

The company saw revenues fall from £1.17bn in 2019 to £821m this year, impacted by the 15-week closure of pubs from the end of March.

However, Marston's experienced resilient trading performance post reopening, with pubs outperformed the market by 7%. Also, guest satisfaction scores were up by 11% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The group reported a strong off-trade performance in its Beer Company with volumes up 23%.

Martson's responsd to COVID-19 with significant financial support to tenants, lessees and retailers.

It invested £2m in 'Inside-Out' schemes to increase capacity in winter months, and there were very few notified instances of COVID-19 infection from employees or guests.

During the period, the firm's transformational Carlsberg joint venture completed on 30 October. Marston’s Beer Company was valued at c£580m.

Ralph Findlay, CEO said, “2020 has been an extraordinarily difficult year for the pub and wider hospitality sector which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. I would like to thank the entire team at Marston’s for their loyalty, dedication and hard work in such trying circumstances.

“Whilst short-term uncertainty remains, we have taken swift action to future-proof the business to withstand the challenges presented by the pandemic and Marston’s has emerged a significantly stronger business, with a substantially strengthened balance sheet and well placed to rebuild trading momentum when restrictions are eased.

'The roll out of the vaccine is clearly critical to that, but in the meantime the sector continues to face major challenges and Government support will need to continue in order for many viable businesses to survive.

“Looking forward, Marston’s has entered the current year fit for the future and excited about the next chapter in the Company’s development as a focussed pub and accommodation operator. We look forward to realising the potential of the Group’s brewing JV with Carlsberg and wish the team at CMBC every success.

'There is clear evidence that consumer demand for our pubs remains strong and our geography, as a predominantly community pub operator with 90% of our well invested, high quality pubs located outside city centres, leaves Marston’s well placed to leverage the market opportunities available to us over the medium to longer term.”