UK: Marston's H1 profits, sales fall

By | 22 May 2009

Marston's, the UK beer and pub group, has reported a drop in sales and net profits down by half in the first six months of its fiscal year.

Net profits after one-off charges fell to GBP13.2m (US$20.9m) for the 26 weeks to 4 April, compared to GBP24.4m during the same period last year, Marston's said today (22 May).

Net sales also fell, by 2.8% to GBP307.5m, but shares in the firm rose from GBP1.6 to GBP1.7 on the London Stock Exchange this morning after it reported signs of improvement on the market in its second half.

CEO Ralph Findlay said: "Trading since 4 April has been in line with our expectations. We remain cautious because of the weak economy, but we are encouraged by the modest improvement in trading since mid-February."

Volume sales of own-brewed beer, which inlcude Marston's Pedigree, Banks's and Mansfield, rose by 18% during the six-month period.

The UK beer market shrank by 8% in volume terms in the first three months of 2009, its worst performance since 1997, according to British Beer & Pub Association figures. On-trade beer sales fell by around 6% during the quarter.

"There is clear evidence that pubs in strong locations with a clear customer focus continue to prosper, whilst weaker pubs with limited amenities and customer offers have experienced declines," said Marston's.

 

Sectors: Beer & cider

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