Marston's has said that it is “on track” to meet expectations for its current financial year.

The brewer and pub operator, which saw its first half end last Saturday (3 April), said today (7 April) that it “continues to see improvement” in each of its three trading divisions in the year so far.

Managed pub division Marston's Inns and Taverns has seen like-for-like sales in the six months to 3 April rise by 1.4% on the corresponding period a year earlier. At the tenanted and leased pubs division, Marston's Pub Company, underlying profit trends have continued to improve with like-for-like profits estimated to be down by 4.6%, compared to the 4.9% decline reported in January.

Meanwhile, the brewing unit, Marston's Beer Company, has seen ale volumes perform in line with last year, with premium ale volumes rising by 4%.

The announcement last month that Marston's will take over the brewing licence for Tetley's cask ale from Carlsberg “will improve brewing efficiency and contribute to continuing good cost management”, the firm said.

“Although the trading environment remains challenging, we are encouraged by our performance in the first half year,” Marston's said. “Trading in each of our divisions continues to improve.”

Marston's interim results for the six months to 3 April will be announced on 20 May.

Late last year, the company reported a slide in full-year profits, but said it was encouraged by trading in the new year.