UK Pub Group Marston's Sees Higher Sales On Strong Christmas Season

By Reuters
UK Pub Group Marston's Sees Higher Sales On Strong Christmas Season

British pub group Marston's on Tuesday reported a more than 8% rise in sales for the last 16 weeks, helped by strong demand for both drinks and food during the Christmas season.

The predominantly suburban pub group said like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to January 20 were up 8.1%, and the key festive days witnessed a 9.6% rise from a year ago.

'Improving Outlook'

"This, together with an improving outlook in which inflationary headwinds are broadly abating, and the actions we are taking to operate more efficiently and rebuild margins, position Marston's well for the year ahead," recently appointed CEO Justin Platt said in a statement.

Resilient customer spending has helped British pub groups during an uncertain economic environment, even as fears of customers cutting back loom.

Data from Barclays earlier this month showed that shoppers spent more at pubs and clubs during the festive season, while they cut back on spending at supermarkets and petrol stations.


Festive Season

Last week, pub chain Mitchells & Butlers reported a strong pick up in sales during the festive season and forecast annual profit towards the top end of current consensus estimates.

Shares of the company were up 4.6% in early trade.

Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells' 15-week trading update, including the key Christmas season, comes at a time when British pubs and restaurants are still fretting over macroeconomic worries curbing consumer spending and offsetting benefits from reduced costs.

"Growth was particularly strong on key dates, with record sales for Christmas day based on 229,000 meals served, supported by strong trading in the run up to Christmas," CEO Phil Urban said in a trading statement.

Slowing Food Inflation

Mitchells & Butlers, the owner of Toby Carvery, Harvester and All Bar One brands said like-for-like sales grew 7.7% in the first 15 weeks of the current fiscal year started Oct. 1, compared with 7.2% growth reported in the initial eight weeks.


The company, which in November had forecast overall annual costs to decrease to about £65 million (€75.9 million) from £175 million (€204.5 million) a year ago, underpinned by a reduction in energy prices and slowing food inflation, said overall cost pressures were now abating.

Article by Reuters, additional reporting by Hospitality Ireland.