Marston’s toasts first-half as pub grub boosts revenues despite tough market

A SERIES of cheap food offers at pub group and brewer Marston’s helped it overcome a challenging market and notch up a five per cent increase in profits.

The company made an underlying pre-tax profit before one-offs of £29.2m in the six months to 2 April. Group revenue was up 2.8 per cent at £317.9m.

Marston’s said the recent strong trading had continued into the second-half, with like-for-like sales up five per cent in its managed pub arm during a nine-week period covering Mother’s Day and Easter.

The popularity of offers such as two meals for £10 in its managed pubs contributed to a ten per cent increase in the number of main meals it served to more than 12m in the half-year period.

Average food spend per head rose to £6.24, driven by a ten per cent rise in sales of starters and desserts.

Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “The performance of the group in the first-half of the year has been encouraging, despite challenging market conditions and the severe weather in December.”