Marston’s proves its pedigree with resilient summer sales

RAIN over the summer and difficult economic conditions did not dent brewer and pub operator Marston’s. The firm said yesterday it had beaten many of its industry rivals, and expects a 2.2 per cent rise in pub sales for the last 12 months.

The maker of Pedigree and Bass ales, which operates more than 2,000 pubs in England and Wales, also said beer volumes were two per cent higher than last year.

“We have been encouraged by the performance of all areas of our business this year despite the challenging consumer environment and the poor weather,” Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay said.

Marston’s added that profit is expected to rise by around three per cent, which would take it up to £83.2m for the year, and that it had opened 25 new pub restaurants over the period, with another 25 opening next year.

Shares in Marston’s fell around two per cent in early trading yesterday as Fitch downgraded the firm to “negative” from “stable”, but rebounded to finish 0.4 per cent up for the day.