Marston's said on Friday June 26 that it is uncertain about its financial outlook in the short-term as it prepares to reopen pubs and restaurants on July 4, following a roughly £40 million hit to sales from the coronavirus lockdown.
The British pub operator, which is set to combine its brewing business with Carlsberg UK, posted an underlying pre-tax profit of £9.4 million for the six months that ended on March 28, compared to £34.2 million last year.
In March, the UK government in March ordered all pubs to close in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which further hit the country's pub industry, which has been grappling with rising costs and changing consumer habits.
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"Looking forward, it is clear that there will be contraction of supply in the eating and drinking out market as a consequence of COVID-19," the company said.
Marston's, the two-century old brewer of Pedigree, Hobgoblin and Lancaster Bomber beers, said that it has reduced its monthly cash burn to £10 million and that the partnership with Carlsberg UK provides a strong platform for post-pandemic recovery.
"Marston's...had a more precarious capital structure pre-COVID 19, but has struck a neat deal with CMBC (Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company), allaying pressing liquidity concerns," Stifel analysts said. "However, it does not 'solve' the capital structure entirely."
Combating The Impact Of The COVID-19 Crisis
To combat the impact from the coronavirus outbreak, Marston's has furloughed over 13,000 employees, cut management pay and suspended dividend payments, among other measures, this year.
The company said that it had reduced debt by £39 million to £1.38 billion, excluding lease liabilities, as of March 28.
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