Pub operator Marston’s saw its H1 FY21 losses before tax widen to £105.5m, up from pre-tax losses of £31.1m the previous year.
Moreover, the group’s revenues for the six months ended 3 April 2021 plummeted 84% to £55.1m, a sharp decline from H1 FY20’s £343.3m revenues.
Marston’s was, however, able to balance the books for the period, benefitting from £228m of net proceeds that it gained from the sale of the Beer Company.
The half also saw a net inflow of £110m, as well as the creation of a net headroom of £116m having drawn down £164m of a £280m bank facility, which is in place to 2024.
Ralph Findlay, CEO at the pub group, said: “Despite the challenges of the last year, the actions we have taken have ensured that Marston’s has emerged a stronger and more focused business with a substantially strengthened balance sheet, a 40% stake in Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company and a clear vision for the future.”
Following the period end, Marston’s saw 710 pubs open in England on 12 April, with a further 211 reopening across the UK on 26 April.
The group claimed that sales in like-for-like sites ran at roughly 80% of pre-Covid-19 levels throughout April 2021, delivering break-even EBITDA for the month.
Findlay added: “Whilst still early days, trading has been encouraging since we were permitted to open our doors for outdoor trading last month and it has been fantastic to have our teams back in the business, doing what they do best, and welcoming customers back into our pubs.
“Our recent strategic investment in additional outdoor trading areas ahead of reopening has enabled us to capitalise on the clear pent-up consumer demand for the pub. We look forward to all trading restrictions being removed next month which signals a return to some semblance of normality.”