Pub operator Marston's annual sales above pre-pandemic levels

Pubs and restaurants group Marston’s said its annual total retail sales came in higher than 2019 numbers, as people continued to splurge on drinks and food despite the rapid cost-of-living crisis.

Marston's head office in Wolverhampton
Marston's head office in Wolverhampton

The Wolverhampton-based firm, which has pubs across the region, said total retail sales for 2021 were two per cent higher from 2019, with sales of drinks outperforming food.

In a trading update for the 52 weeks to October 1 2022, Marston's said food sales in this period were weaker principally due to the hot weather.

As previously highlighted, the group’s gas price is fixed until the end of March 2025 with no additional incremental spend anticipated. Electricity costs in the last 10 weeks of its 2022 financial year have been higher than originally expected due the volatile market for energy over the last few months.

Looking ahead, Marston's said it is looking to maximise the trading opportunities provided by the forthcoming World Cup and first restriction-free Christmas in three years.

Andrew Andrea, chief executive, said: “This is a good performance, with the trading momentum we experienced in the summer continuing.

"Marston’s has a long-term capital structure which is well suited to the current market environment and we remain committed to our debt reduction strategy with which we continue to make progress.

"We are managing cost inflation well with food, drink and energy costs covered for the immediate future.

“Whilst we are not complacent and can’t predict what the future will hold, what is clear is that people want – and are continuing – to visit our predominantly community pubs.

"The level of customer demand we are experiencing is encouraging which underpins our confidence that our strategy is working and we are making positive progress in that regard.

"Looking forward, we are primed to maximise the trading opportunities provided by the forthcoming World Cup and first restriction-free Christmas in three years.

"Marston’s is in good shape and well positioned to navigate the future.”

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