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Pub/Bar/Nightclub

Marston's Sales Rebound On Christmas Cheer

By Dave Simpson

Marston's Plc has posted 4.5% growth in like-for-like sales for the two-week Christmas holiday period, helping the pub operator rebound from subdued business in early December when wet weather kept Britons indoors.

"Marston's has delivered a creditable performance in a challenging market. Trading during the key Christmas fortnight was good and has remained solid which is encouraging," CEO Ralph Findlay said.

Marston's, which brews the Pedigree, Hobgoblin and Lancaster Bomber beers and runs 1,400 pubs, said that total managed and franchise like-for-like sales rose 1% for the 16-week period to January 18.

Steep Costs

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British pub operators and restaurant chains have had to weather steep costs on the back of higher wages and energy bills.

Marston's said that the recently announced increase in minimum wage was higher than anticipated, and added that it will increase costs in the second half by an additional £2 million to £3 million.

The company has been looking to sell pubs to cut debt after posting lower earnings in its last fiscal year. To that end, it increased the targeted proceeds from such disposals to £85 million to £90 million pounds from the £70 million that was set in November.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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