Pubs operator Marston’s records steady year despite profit loss

Ollie Gordon
Ralph Findlay has been chief executive of brewer and pub operator Marston’s since 2001
BRITISH brewer and pub operator Marston’s yesterday reported a steady year of growth in its preliminary results for the year ended 4 October, despite posting a drop in profits.

The Wolverhampton-based company’s underlying group revenue increased one per cent to £787.6m in the period, but its profit before tax fell 3.6 per cent to £83m.

The company, however, pointed to disposals and the shorter trading period for the profit loss. Chief executive Ralph Findlay told City A.M.: “I think they were solid results. It was a year of transition. We had a lot of disposals in there: we sold 388 pubs for £144m. But if you look through the impact of disposals and the fact we had a shorter trading period, overall our profits were up around 12 per cent. So I think that does indicate that the strategy we are following is working.”

The results were in line with analysts expectations, with the company’s earnings growth “set to resume” this year, according to Numis analyst Douglas Jack. The brewer’s stock closed the day two per cent up on 146.20p.

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