Pub group Marston’s Plc is hoping to achieve £1 billion in sales this year after a strong festive period.
Latest figures show like-for-like sales for the 16-week period to 21 January were up 12.9 per cent compared with last year when the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was circulating.
For the five key festive days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – like-for-like sales rose 26 per cent compared to last year. This represents a 12.9 per cent increase against the 2019/20 festive period – last equivalent period of unrestricted trading before the pandemic.
Total retail sales in the Group’s managed and franchised pubs were up 14 per cent on last year – and 7.3 per cent more than in 2020 – with drink sales continuing to outperform food sales.
Marston’s has approximately 1,500 sites across England and Wales and its brewery is in Burton upon Trent.
In a trading update, CEO Andrew Andrea said: “Whilst we still have certain cost challenges to navigate in 2023, we are well-positioned to continue to progress our strategy and are encouraged by the level of consumer resilience experienced to date.
“Whilst still early in the New Year, trading momentum continues to build, and our primary focus remains to meet our strategic goals of achieving £1 billion sales and reducing our debt to below £1 billion with all the subsequent benefits that both of those milestones will bring to our shareholders.”
The Group’s electricity costs are hedged until the end of September this year with no change to earnings guidance and its gas price is fixed until the end of March 2025 with no additional incremental spend anticipated.