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Marstons sees interim revenue growth despite late Easter

Following the news that Marston's is acquiring Charles Wells for £55m, the firm posted its interim results for the 26 weeks to 1 April 2017.

Underlying revenue stood at £440.8m, a rise of 3%, with profit before tax at £33.7m, also up by 3%.

Statutory profit before tax was up by 61%, reflecting positive movement in the valuation of swaps. The average profit per pub has increased by 3% in first half year.

Four pubs and bars have been opened, plus three lodges opened which takes the estate to over 1,000 rooms.

The period has seen further market share growth, with 26% share of premium bottled ale and 19% share of premium cask ale.

Current trading (for 30 weeks incorporating Easter) remains encouraging with Destination and Premium like-for-like sales up 1.6%; operating margins in line with last year; Taverns like-for-like sales up 1.7%; Leased like-for-like profits up 2%, and Own-brewed beer volumes up 2%.

The company is on track to open 23 pubs and bars and 8 lodges in current financial year. It has also acquired three Pointing Dog Premium pubs in May and there's an agreement to purchase seven Destination and Premium pubs.

Ralph Findlay, CEO said, “Marston’s has been transformed over the last 10 years by the consistent implementation of our established strategy. In that time, we have built around 200 pubs on new sites representing 60% of the Destination estate today, and we have developed a leading premium pubs and bars business.

'The Taverns estate has been repositioned, having sold around 1,000 pubs and introduced pioneering franchise-style agreements designed for community pubs. In Brewing, we lead the premium ale market and benefit from a growing contribution from craft beers and international licensed brands, including premium European lager brands.

“Our market position will be enhanced by the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer Business and we remain confident our strategy will continue to create value for shareholders.”