Pubs group and brewer Marston's is expected to announce further steady progress in both its managed and leased estates when it issues interim results.
As per usual, the like-for-like (LFL) sales numbers will be closely examined. At the time of its last update, in mid-March, the group said LFL sales in the 23 weeks to March 10th were 3.5% ahead of last year in its managed estate, which represented a slow-down from the 5.0% growth rate seen in the first 16 weeks of the current fiscal year.
Like-for-like food sales grew 3.9% and like-for-like drinks sales were up by 3.4% from a year earlier in the 23-week period.
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The Pedigree bitter brewer saw a 2% year-on-year increase in volumes of beer shipped, despite the UK beer market being in decline, with growth driven by premium cask and bottled ales. Charles Stanley expects Marston's management to confirm this trend is continuing.
The broker is also expecting the firm to update the market on the returns from its new build sites, especially given the increasing significance of this portion of the estate.
"There may be some additional comments into consumer attitudes towards the value offering, pricing points and reactions to regional promotions," suggested Charles Stanley analyst James Dawson.
Dawson has pencilled in £2,563m for the profit before tax figure, up from £2.473m the year before. Earnings per share are tipped to ease to 49.9p from 51.7p the year before, paving the way for an increase in the interim dividend to 39.3p from 36.4p last year.
Engineer Invensys - the old British Tyre & Rubber (BTR), which, coincidentally, used to have two factories in Britain's brewing capital, Burton-upon-Trent, where Marston's brewery is based - is set to report lower full year profits for the year to March 31st, with the median figure in the range of analyst forecasts being profit before tax of £171.4m, down from £222.0m the year before.
Revenue is tipped to rise to £2.58bn from £2.49bn the year before.
Euromoney Institutional Investor, Grainger, Marston's, Optos
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