LONDON (dpa-AFX) - British brewer and pub operator Marston's Plc (MARS.L) reported Tuesday that its Group turnover for the year ended September 28, 2019 was up 3 percent to 1.2 billion pounds.
For the year, the company expects EBITDA to be broadly flat year on year and underlying profit before tax of around 101 million pounds.
In its trading update, the company said it expects higher operating profits in Taverns and Beer businesses offset by lower earnings in Destination and Premium.
Total pub sales for the year increased 3 percent, including like-for-like sales growth of 0.8 percent and the contribution from pub expansion programme.
In the most recent 10 weeks, like-for-like sales were up 1.9 percent.
Wet-led Taverns pubs performed strongly with managed and franchised like-for-like sales growth of 1.9 percent including growth of 5.4 percent in the last 10 weeks.
In Destination and Premium, like-for-like sales were 0.1 percent ahead of last year, reflecting stronger drink sales offset by lower food sales.
Premium Pubs and Bars performed well with growth in Pitcher & Piano, Revere Bar and Revere Country. Operating margins is expected to be below last year principally reflecting increased margin investment and higher labour costs as a percentage of sales.
Marston's Beer Company's total volumes grew 1 percent.
Looking ahead, the company expects underlying profit before tax in 2020 to be at a similar level to 2019. The outlook reflects growth in underlying operating profits offset by increased disposal activity, additional pub investment and higher interest charges.
Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive Officer, said, 'Our principal focus is on reducing our net debt by £200 million and creating a high quality business that is cash generative after dividends and capital expenditure. We are making encouraging progress and have decided to increase the pace of our disposal programme this year to accelerate the achievement of this target.'
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