Pub operator Marston’s yesterday reported moderate growth in like-for-like sales during the final quarter ending 24 January, up two per cent on the year.
Particular emphasis was placed on the strong sales growth of 4.8 per cent during the two week Christmas period ending 4 January and a 12.5 per cent increase in Christmas day sales compared to the previous year.
The firm had an increase in operating margins and said its plan to open 25 new pub-restaurants was on track. Brewing was the strongest performing sector for the company over the period, with total sales in its group ale subsidiary up four per cent on the year, with off-trade performance up eight per cent.
Sales growth in group ale was fuelled by a 10 per cent annual rise in sales of their strongest brand, Hobgoblin. Subsidiary In Taverns saw growth of two per cent in like-for-like sales on the year, mirroring overall company trends with a further 2.7 per cent growth over the Christmas fortnight and 5.8 per cent growth on Christmas day trading.