Busi­ness In­sight

Marston’s

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business Comment - Writes Bradley Ger­rard.

Pub group Marston’s will only build 15 sites in the next 12 months as it steps down its growth plans in the wake of the sub­dued con­sumer en­vi­ron­ment,

The firm had planned to build on av­er­age 20 per year but hit 19 in the year to Sept 30 and will open fewer still in its 2018 fi­nan­cial year.

But Ralph Find­lay, chief ex­ec­u­tive, said he would con­tinue to snap up avail­able sites and open pubs on those lo­ca­tions at a later date when trad­ing con­di­tions were more buoy­ant.

The com­pany reg­is­tered pos­i­tive like-for-like sales in each of its three pub di­vi­sions in the pe­riod un­der re­view even though the rate of growth was be­low that of 2016. Mr Find­lay said the trad­ing num­bers were partly down to a softer sum­mer pe­riod com­pared to last year, which was helped by the Euro 2016 foot­ball cham­pi­onships. He also said cus­tomers were “feel­ing the squeeze” and that the com­pany would cut £5m of costs in the next 12 months in a bid to keep the prices of its food and drinks steady.

It re­cently in­creased prices in line with in­fla­tion but now has con­tracts with sup­pli­ers well into 2019, which lock in terms for its food and drinks.

Pub group Marston’s is to scale back its growth plans next year

Ralph Find­lay Chief ex­ec­u­tive

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