THIS summer’s heatwave helped arrest sliding profits at ‘traditional’ pubs owned by Burton brewing giant Marston’s following a disappointing start to the year.
Bosses described the firm’s performance during 2013 as ‘encouraging’ following the release of its end of year results, despite a fall in profits at its community pubs.
The disappointing performance was put down to adverse weather at the beginning of the year, and while a warmer summer boosted trade, it was not enough to deliver an improvement on last year.
On a more encouraging note for the company, which has its pub company headquarters in Shobnall Road, profits were up at ‘destination and premium’ pubs, which focus more on serving food.
Performance at its managed and franchised pubs remained steady, with profits in line with last year.
In addition, its own-brewed beer volumes were up by 6 per cent, while cask ale volumes rose by four per cent and bottled ale a massive 19 per cent.
Following the results, Marston’s chiefs said the firm would take greater focus on its new-builds and would continue to shed poorer performing venues.
The firm revealed plans to accelerate new pub-builds in the pipeline, keen to profit from the success its new establishments have seen so far.
Marston’s opened 22 new pub-restaurants across the country this year with chiefs satisfied with early results.
Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “We are encouraged by our performance in the second-half year after challenging weather in the first half.
“The performance of our new builds is very strong. We have developed plans to accelerate the programme and intend to dispose more aggressively of lower-end pubs in order to pursue our key objectives of sustainable growth and improving return.
“We are confident that we are significantly improving the quality of our pub estate for both today’s and tomorrow’s consumer.”