Marston's sells over 200 pubs as profits rise

Marston's brewery has sold 202 pubs to NewRiver Retail for £90m.158 pubs will come from Marston's Taverns estate while 44 are leased pubs.

The world's largest brewer of cask ale made the announcement in its preliminary results for 2013. For the year ended 5 October, pre-tax profits for the company rose by one per cent to £69m. While this represents an improvement compared to last year's loss of £135m, profits were lower than had been expected.

The company whose brands include Brakespeare and Ringwood has opened 22 new pubs this year, adding to its estate of 2,050.

Group revenues also rose by nine per cent to £783m. The company identified food rather than drink as the main driver for visits to the pub.

Chief executive, Ralph Findlay, said in a statement:

In 2013 we served 30 million meals, with food now the principal reason for around 80% of customer visits in our destination pubs.

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