Pub group calls time on 50 head office jobs to focus on margin growth

Pub group Marston’s has cut 50 jobs at its Wolverhampton head office to save £5m.

It is focusing on improving margins after achieving a year of above-inflation sales growth. Sales were up 11% in the 12 months to September.

Marston’s is targeting an improvement of two percentage points on its margins in the next 2-3 years, with the headcount reduction at head office contributing one-quarter of that.

It has fixed its energy costs and has secured a “significant proportion” of its food and drink costs for the next financial year, providing the group with certainty and “a high degree of confidence” for the year ahead.

Marston’s employs 11,000 people across its 1,415 pubs, which are mostly in surburban locations.

Marston’s chief executive Andrew Andrea

Marston’s chief executive Andrew Andrea said: “Two years ago, we set out our vision and strategy with a clear objective to create a simplified, high quality predominately suburban pub business, with minimal exposure to city centres where demand is more volatile.

“The benefits of this strategy are now coming through.”

It is also planning to raise £50m through the sale of pubs which it now considers to be non-core, which would follow on from £55m of property sales in the last year.