UK: Marston's Beer Co improves FY sales, profits
- Beer Co full-year operating profits up by 0.6% to GBP16.3m (US$25.4m)
- Net sales rise by 0.4% to GBP106.5m
- Volume sales increase by 2%
- Group grabs bigger share of premium ale sector, as food sales drive pub business
Marston's Beer Co outperforms UK market
Marston's Beer Co has reported narrow rises in both sales and profits for its latest fiscal year, thanks to growing demand for its premium cask and bottled ales.
Marston's said today (30 November) that volume sales of its premium cask and bottled ales rose by 5% and 6% respectively on the previous year. The performance enabled Marston's total beer volume sales to rise by 2% for the 12 months to the end of September, outperforming a UK beer market that has remained in decline.
However, Marston's struggled to translate higher volume sales into revenue. Net sales in its beer business crept up by just 0.4% for the year, to GBP106.5m (US$166.4m). Operating profits rose by 0.6% to GBP16.3m, with margins flat against the prior year.
Despite a resilient performance in beer, it was food sales in the group's pub business that drove Marston's' overall performance for the year. Total group net sales increased by 4.8% to GBP682.2m. Food contributed to 42% of sales, versus a contribution of 28% back in 2005, the group said.
Group operating profits increased by 14.5% to GBP151.6m. Net profits up by 45% to GBP68.8m, inflated by lower one-off costs. Marston's' CEO, Ralph Findlay, called the results impressive, but he also issued a warning to the Government over tax at a time of economic uncertainty and high unemployment. "Pubs make a real contribution to employment, and the government can help by recognising that its policies on taxation, and beer duty in particular, are damaging to pubs, brewers and jobs," he said.
For the company announcement, click here.
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