Marston's expects slightly lower half year profit

Brewer and pub operator Marston's said snow and exceptionally cold weather throughout the UK in the three months to the end of March hit trading across its pub estate and as a result, expects to report slightly lower operating profit for the first half.

Brewer and pub operator Marston's said snow and exceptionally cold weather throughout the UK in the three months to the end of March hit trading across its pub estate and as a result, expects to report slightly lower operating profit for the first half.

The Wolverhampton-based group, which brews Banks's and Pedigree, said expectations for the overall trading performance for the full year however remain unchanged.

The group, which has an estate of around 2,130 pubs, said trading has started well in the second half and it expects to benefit from less challenging sales comparatives for the remainder of the financial year.

"We have opened nine new pub restaurants in the financial year to date and anticipate opening at least 20 by the end of the year which, combined with the rollover benefit of the back-ended 2012 programme, will generate additional profit in the second half," it said in a company update.

As part of the operational restructuring costs reductions, it expects to reduce operating costs by around £3m per year, with about half of this amount benefiting the results for the second half of this year, it explained.

CJ

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