UK brewer Marston's has reported 6% drop in profit across its pubs, but boosted beer volumes thanks to acquisitions.

A fall in like-for-like profit in the group's pub division, over the 15 weeks to 17 January, was accompanied by a 2.9% drop in like-for-like sales, Marston's said today (23 January).

The figures show Marston's has so far fared better in the economic downturn than several major rivals in the pub sector, notably Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns.

In beer, Marston's said that own-brewed volumes for the 15-week period were ahead of last year, having been boosted by its acquisition of Wychwood Brewery in April 2008. "Our market share has therefore increased in a beer market which is declining," it said.

Costs are expected to rise by GBP12m in 2009, the group said, adding that it expected to mitigate these "as a consequence of recent fixed utility contracts, new purchasing agreements and reductions to central overheads achieved during 2008".

Marston's announced earlier this month that it has completed a deal to extend its debt facility with major lenders.