Marston’s, the brewery firm that are behind the Pitcher & Piano pub chain, have enjoyed tasty sales growth over the 6 months that ended at the end of March after their food offerings further fed their profits. LFL (like-for-like) sales across its managed pub network rose by 3.6% when compared with the same period last year, and their food led the way with a 3.9% increase.
When the group made their last update, in mid-March, they said that LFL sales during the 23 weeks up to the 10th March were 3.5% ahead of last year figures in their managed network, so the growth of sales picked up slightly in the second part of March. The group revenue was up to £342.1m, a rise of 7.6% on the £317.9m from the previous year, and well ahead of the £328.5m that was forecast by the broker Charles Stanley.
The company has also resisted from putting up their prices, and the growth from their two-for-one offers would indicate that this was the right decision. Pre-tax profits for this period rose 15% from the £29.2m it stood at the interim stage of the previous year and has hit £33.5, exceeding Charles Stanley’s forecast of £30.9m.
Marston’s currently has around 1650 leased and tenanted pubs, and a further 500 outlets are managed. The revenue in the managed estate grew by 5% from last year up to £190.4m, while they saw a whopping rise of 14% in their franchise network, yielding a revenue of £98.1m, which has to be considered as a glass more than half full situation.
Their brewing operation, which produced the Hobgoblin and Pedigree brands of beer, saw its turnover positively frothing from a 6.6% increase on 2010/2011, up to £53.6m. In current trading, the group has said that their LFL sales across the managed estates have risen by 2.4% in the 32 weeks ending 12th May, with the sales of food rising by 2.7%, and drink sales up by 2.3%.