16th May 2023 16:12
(Alliance News) - Marston's PLC on Tuesday said its revenue increased in the first half of its financial year, but that it swung to loss in the period.
Shares in Marston's fell 7.4% to 34.40 pence on Tuesday afternoon in London.
The Wolverhampton, England-based pub operator reported revenue for the first half ended April 1 of GBP407.0 million, up 10% from GBP369.7 million a year ago.
The firm said revenue was boosted by an 11% increase in like-for-like sales, with drink and food sales performing well, which the company said is a testament to its "predominantly community pub estate".
The company added that like-for-like sales in the last six weeks were up 7.9% compared with a year ago, boosted by Easter and May bank holiday dates.
Pretax loss was GBP38.1 million, swinging from profit of GBP25.6 million. The company noted that this figure included a GBP34.5 million net loss in respect of interest rate swap movements, which was a partial reversal of a GBP109.2 million net gain in 2022.
The company declared no dividend for financial 2023, owing to "continued macroeconomic uncertainty".
Looking ahead, Marston's said it is working hard to mitigate cost pressures, and expects to offset some inflation through cost efficiencies and pricing strategies.
Chief Executive Andrew Andrea said: "The strategy which we outlined 18 months ago is progressing well and generating positive results which is pleasing. Our [first half] performance clearly demonstrates that consumers remain as keen as ever to celebrate - and socialise within - the Great British Pub.
"We continue to deliver upon our clear strategic objective to reduce debt and progress our path to profitability, albeit the seasonality of our trading profile means that the majority of the group's profit is characteristically [second half] weighted."
By Harvey Dorset, Alliance News reporter
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