Pre-tax loss of £100m for the 12 months to 2 October fails to dilute the optimism underpinned by post-pandemic consumer dynamics and drivers. Marston’s is both resilient and ready for regeneration.
Marston’s has reported that total pub revenue for the year was £402m, down 22 per cent on the previous 12-months, a meltdown which the operator said was a result of Covid trading disruptions. Following the lifting of restrictions in July, like-for-like sales were 102 per cent of 2019. It reported an underlying pre-tax loss of £100m for the 12 months ended 2 October, compared with the £22m deficit recorded a year earlier.
The pub operator said it was optimistic despite the rising cost of living and alarm over the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
Commenting, on the results CEO Andrew Andrea, said: “It is extremely encouraging that trading momentum has built well since reopening and trading is now exceeding FY2019 levels. We were delighted to fully reopen our estate in July, once restrictions were lifted, and welcome our guests and team members back into our pubs. Whilst there are still some challenges to navigate over the months ahead, we believe the worst of the pandemic is now behind us and Marston’s has emerged a stronger, more focused business which is in great shape. Importantly, consumer demand for the pub and the role which this great British institution plays, at the heart of communities up and down the country, has never been stronger.”
He added: “Over the last 18 months, the Government provided much welcomed support to the hospitality industry, which has been so hard hit by the pandemic. We urge them to continue to assist the sector as it continues its recovery by maintaining VAT at 12.5 percent.
“Marston’s enters the year ahead as a focused pub business with a clear strategic plan, a profitable and cash generative business, a strong balance sheet and a 40 percent share in CMBC, our partnership with Carlsberg, which has such exciting potential.
“Our debt reduction plans remain on track and our well-invested, predominantly freehold, suburban pub estate is well placed to benefit from many of the positive consumer dynamics and drivers post pandemic. Whilst still early days, Christmas bookings look encouraging and we look to the future with renewed optimism.”