Full lockdown is costing Marston’s a cash burn of £4m a week

Marston's financial report
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Its latest trading report makes grim reading for the short-term but Marston’s is confident about the medium-term outlook for its suburban pub estate.

 

Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive of Marston’s PLC, has reiterated his call for greater government assistance following the imposition of lockdowns across the UK.

In a financial update covering the 13-week period ended 2 January 2021, the PubCo confirmed an estimated cash burn in full lockdown of between £3-4 million per week, a figure that for 2021 would total north of £30m based on the most optimistic re-opening date of March, rising to £60m if restrictions are in place through to May.

Marstons Ralph FindlayExpanding on the outlook, Ralph Findlay, commented: “The pub sector has been closed for much of the last nine months and remains in a very difficult position. Regrettably there have been casualties across the sector and It is vital that the Government reviews urgently the opportunity to continue to support pubs as we reopen the economy in the coming weeks.

“Pubs are viable businesses which are part of the social fabric of Britain and which make a major contribution to the economy and the communities in which they serve. It is vital that they not only survive the shortterm crisis but are supported in order to recover and flourish. Extending the business rates holiday and VAT cut for the rest of this year is a minimum requirement.

“Despite these challenges, Marston’s has a significantly strengthened balance sheet following the creation of the joint venture with Carlsberg and the financial headroom to weather the extended period of current trading restrictions.

“With the roll out of the vaccine programme now underway nationwide, we remain well positioned to rebuild trading momentum once restrictions are lifted, as well as to leverage potential market opportunities open to us. We have a clear strategy in place which leaves us confident for the future of our business over the medium term.”

As per Marston’s preliminary results that were announced in December, the company is confident that when restrictions are lifted consumer demand will be strong and that its’ predominantly suburban based pub estate, will be well positioned. It said the SA Brain transaction demonstrates its commitment to growing the pub business and its confidence in the medium-term outlook for the UK pub business


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