Marston’s looks to future after counting Covid-19 costs

Marton’s says the coronavirus epidemic has dealt a £40m blow to its revenues, while profits for the half year to 28 March have also slumped dramatically.

The brewer and pubco posted turnover of £510.5m for the six months to 28 March, down from 553.1m a year ago. Underlying profits droppd from £34.2m to £9.4m during the period.

The figures come after the firm announced plans to merge with Carlsbery UK in a deal which will see it receive £273m and retain a 40% stake in the new company.

Ralph Findlay, CEO, said: “Our immediate priority is to prepare our pubs to reopen on 4 July. Whilst there is short term uncertainty as the sector emerges from lockdown, we are focussed on offering a great guest experience, synonymous with Marston’s hospitality, to welcome our customers back into our pubs within a safe trading environment.

“The challenges facing the sector should not be underestimated and much rests on consumer confidence which may take time to rebuild. As the industry navigates its way out of lockdown, we will continue to urge Government for continued support for pubs and wider hospitality, through the reopening phase and thereafter through business rates relief and cuts to VAT, to protect jobs, the economy and the invaluable role the pub plays in communities nationwide.

“Looking ahead, our transformational deal with Carlsberg positions the company well for the future. Post-completion, Marston’s will be a focused pub and accommodation business with a significantly strengthened balance sheet, well placed to rebuild trading momentum and leverage the market opportunities available to us over the medium to longer term.”