Marston's set for fresh growth drive

Beer and pubs giant Marston’s was toasting rising sales and profits today after creating 5,000 jobs and building 100 new pubs over the last four years.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston's
Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston's

And chief executive Ralph Findlay saidthe growth was set to continue, adding: “There is no reason we can’t do the same in the next four years, creating another 5,000 jobs. We are reporting a good set of results with growth in each area of the business.”

Underlying revenue income for the group was up 4.5 per cent to £374.3 million in the six months to the end of March, while underlying pre-tax profits were up 9.4 per cent to £29 million.

The Banks’s brewer, which employs around 1,000 of its 13,000-strong workforce at its headquarters in Wolverhampton and has a large number of pubs across Shropshire, is on track to build 27 new restaurant-pubs this year and has sold off 286 less profitable pubs for £116 million.

Mr Findlay added: “The first half year was good and current trading is strong. We are creating a higher quality pub estate which is delivering positive trading momentum and meets the expectations of today’s customers."

With 11 new pubs opened in the first half, the group remains on track to open at least 27 throughout the year, and will cut the ribbon on the 100th since 2009 this summer.

“We are beginning to see some evidence of consumer confidence returning in the regions," Mr Findlay added.

leaving us confident of making positive progress for the remainder of the year.”

Current trading was also strong, said Mr Findlay, with overall like-for-like revenue up 4.1 per cent, including a 6 per cent hike from brewing.