Marston’s celebrates good weather windfall with summer beers sales boost

Pub group Marston’s is celebrating a rise in beer sales this summer thanks to a combination of World Cup fever and a prolonged heatwave.

(Photo: Elliot Bowden/Flickr)

Sales in Marston’s pubs were up 5.2% in the 42 week period to 21 July, with like-for-like sales growth of 0.3%.

The surge in sales over the past four months was put down to unusually warm weather, which the group was able to capitalise on thanks to a portfolio of pubs the majority of which have beer gardens.

“Most of our pubs have attractive outside areas,” said a spokesperson, “allowing our customers to enjoy the good weather, and we created a brilliant World Cup atmosphere in many, building on the demand for experiences and the fact that pubs are the ‘next best thing’ to live football.”

The group has also seen substantial growth in the past year. Volumes increased by 61% within 42 weeks since the acquisition of Charles Wells Brewing.

Charles Wells had been searching for a new site since it sold its former brewery and the majority of its beer brands to Marston’s in a deal worth £55 million, and submitted a planning application for a new £13 million brewery and visitor centre in March to be located in the outskirts of Bedford.

The deal signalled the brewer’s exit from higher volume national sales in favour of more local, small scale brewing in Bedford.

The group has said it is confident that its acquisition will soon bear fruit.

Chief executive Ralph Findlay recently added to the group’s “strong pipeline of sites” following the acquisition and successful integration of Charles Wells Brewing and Beer business in 2017, a move he believes will contribute to further growth in the coming years.

He added that the group’s strategy and dividend policy “remain appropriate for current market conditions and we remain confident of delivering underlying earnings in line with expectations for the full year.”

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