Marston's delays FY results; hails 'encouraging' trading
Pub chain Marston’s said on Monday that trading since the year-end has been encouraging, as it announced a delay to the publication of its final results.
Results for the year to 2 October 2022 - which had been scheduled for release on Tuesday - have been pushed back due to a short delay in the completion of audit procedures at joint venture Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company.
"This is at the request of Carlsberg's auditors who are finalising their audit documentation," it said, adding that there is no disagreement between Carlsberg's auditors and CMBC management and that it should be able publish its results within the next week.
Marston’s also gave a brief update on trading, which it said had been "encouraging" since the year end. Like-for-like sales in its managed and franchised pubs are up 6.8% on the same period a year ago and 5% higher than in 2019.
In addition, the group said October earnings were in line with its expectations, while bookings for Christmas Day and Christmas Fayre are "encouraging and are building in momentum".
Total bookings for the Christmas period are currently higher than in 2019, Marston’s said, adding that walk-ins typically account for a significant chunk of overall sales over the festive period.
It also said that for the two England World Cup games that have taken place so far, total LFL sales on those days were around 30% higher than 2021, with drink sales up 50% and food sales up around 1%, and better than expected.
"We remain cognisant of the current macroeconomic environment with the cost-of-living crisis, the impact of the conflict in Ukraine and the resulting challenges this brings in respect of cost inflation and the potential impact on disposable income, as well as potential supply issues," it said.
"However, pubs have demonstrated their resilience time and time again and, to date, there is little in our trading performance to suggest that there has been a change to consumer behaviour; our guests still want to go out and have an affordable treat in a Marston's pub."