Pub chain, Marston’s has announced the acquisition of 15 new former Mitchells & Butlers pubs from Aprirose, a property investment company, along with an annual pre-tax profit of £104m, slightly ahead of last year’s figure of £100.1m.
Despite the slight increase on last year, the figure fell below analysts Liberium’s prediction of £107m. Total sales in pubs rose by 3.2% in the second half of the year with 0.6% on a like-for-like basis, Marston’s said the figure was helped by significantly increased drinks sales in their pubs.
Marston’s CEO Ralph Findlay said: “Trading in destination food-led pubs was weaker, this predominantly reflects issues beyond our control relating to unseasonal weather extremes and the World Cup. However, we are encouraged that our dining pubs are now seeing improving momentum and we expect to make further progress in 2019.”
Shares in the pub chain fell by 2.8% at 98p per share following the announcement giving the company a total valuation of £640m. Liberum analyst Anna Barnfather added: “Food-led destination pubs have not seen the Q4 bounce back anticipated although wet-led pubs continue to trade well.”