UK brewer and pub operator Marston's has reported a drop in net profit for its full-year, underlining difficulties across the sector.

Net profit for the 53 weeks ended 4 October fell to GBP62m (US$91m), down from GBP82m in 2007, Marston's said today (5 December). Revenue rose by 2% to GBP666m.

Marston's followed its rivals in expressing caution about current market conditions, but the group maintained its proposed shareholder dividend of GBP0.847.

The UK brewing sector is facing its toughest trading climate since the 1930s, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

Marston's attacked the government for recent duty tax rises: "The increasing burden of government legislation and significant increases in alcohol taxation are unwelcome and pose significant challenges for our tenants, lessees and free trade customers."

The group said in its outlook: "In a deteriorating economic environment we have taken steps to reduce our cost base and debt, but we expect a difficult year ahead."