Belfast Telegraph

Marston’s scales back growth plans amid subdued market

The group – which owns Two For One and Pitcher & Piano – expects to open 15 pubs and bars in 2018, down from the 19 opened over the last 12 months.

Premium pubs and beer business Marston’s is to trim its expansion plans next year in the face of “subdued market conditions”, despite booking a rise in annual sales.

The group – which owns Two For One and Pitcher & Piano – expects to open 15 pubs and bars in 2018, down from the 19 opened over the last 12 months.

“This modest trimming of our openings programme reflects a degree of caution given recent subdued market conditions,” Marston’s said in a trading update.

Consumer confidence has nosedived since the beginning of 2017 as the collapse in sterling following the Brexit vote begins to take its toll on the public, with fewer people eating and drinking out as discretionary spending is cut back.

The announcement came as Marston’s reported increased like for like sales across its three main divisions.

bpanews_e24d7d31-1916-42f6-929b-ed64abdc6fc9_embedded22735443
CITY Wolverhampton

Its Taverns division was the standout performer, with like-for-like sales 1.6% ahead of last year as it was buoyed by increasing consumer demand for local beers and craft drinks.

Marston’s premium arm saw comparable sales rise 0.9% and its leased arm is expected to notch up a 1% increase in full year profits.

In brewing, beer volumes were up around 6% compared to last year, reflecting the benefit of the acquisition of Charles Wells brewing and beer business.

Boss Ralph Findlay said: “Our priority is to focus on quality, service and standards.

“We are well placed to continue to implement our growth strategy through investment in higher quality pubs and bars and through our unrivalled beer brand range supported by high customer service standards.’’

Popular