Marston’s, the UK’s largest brewer of cask ale and owner of 2,158 pubs across the country, defied tough trading conditions to report top-of-the-range adjusted profit before tax of £73.5m, up 4.6 per cent from £70.5m the previous year.
Revenues were 0.9 per cent up to £651m on the previous year, as analysts praised its strong strategies to grow customers and profitability by focusing on food, families and females.
Revenue in its tenanted pubs, owned by the company but managed by landlords, fell 2.8 per cent to £171m.
Like-for-like sales at its managed pubs, which include the Pitcher & Piano chain, rose 1.7 per cent, boosted by the opening of 15 new pub-restaurants, with underlying operating profit rising eight per cent.
Group net debt fell £17m to £1.08bn.
The results met analyst forecasts.