Pub chain Marston’s has revealed strong sales over the Christmas period and witnessed easing cost inflation.
The company, which owns 1,414 pubs across the UK, said retail sales between September 30 to January 20 grew 8.8%, compared to the same period in the previous year.
Trading was particularly positive on key festive holidays like Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, when it said sales jumped 9.6%.
Chief executive officer of the Wolverhampton-based firm, Justin Platt, said the company is positioned well for the new year.
He said: “I am pleased to report a strong trading performance with like-for-likes up 8.4% over the festive period. It has been an encouraging start to the year.
“This, together with an improving outlook in which inflationary headwinds are broadly abating, and the actions we are taking to operate more efficiently and rebuild margins, position Marston’s well for the year ahead.”
The company, which was founded in 1834, fell to a £20.7 million pre-tax loss in 2023 after it was affected by interest rate swap movements and charges linked to weaker property valuations, compared with a £163.4 million profit a year earlier.
In October 2023, the firm said it planned to cut a number of head office jobs in order to help save £5 million amid pressure from rising costs.
Mr Platt took over at the helm of Marston’s last year, replacing previous chief executive Andrew Andrea.
Mr Platt added: “I am delighted to have joined Marston’s and am excited about the opportunity ahead. This is a great business and, whilst still early days, I’ve been impressed by the dedication, talent and expertise of the team.
“I look forward to getting to know both the team, and the business, better over the weeks and months ahead and working together to build on the trading momentum to maximise the group’s future potential.”
Marston’s shares were down 0.15% on Tuesday morning following its trading report.