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Marston's (MARS)

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Marston's brews up profit growth as beer booms

15 May 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Marston's first-half profit increased as the pub and beer company's brewing business catered to drinkers seeking a wider range of ales.
Underling pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of March rose 2% to 37m as underlying revenue increased 5% to 553.1m. Statutory pre-tax profit was 19.1m compared with a 13.4m loss a year earlier.

The company said it made a solid start to the second half and was confident about meeting full-year expectations. It maintained its first-half dividend at 2.7p a share.

The shares rose 5.2% to 106.5p at 1017 BST.

Growth was strongest at Marston's brewery business, whose beers include Courage, Bomardier and Brakspear. Brewing's underlying operating profit rose to 14.5m from 13.4m. Profit also rose at Marston's taverns and food pubs where like-for-like sales increased.

Ralph Findlay, Marston's chief executive, said: "I am pleased to report continued growth across all segments of the business ... Whilst the backdrop of ongoing uncertainty around Brexit continues to be challenging, opportunities for growth remain and we are confident of delivering another year of profitable growth for our shareholders."

The group has scaled back expansion plans to reduce its debt and protect the dividend in a market affected by Brexit uncertainty and consumer caution. It plans to keep the dividend unchanged until its debt-reduction plan is complete in 2023.

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Market Data

Currency UK Pounds
Price 106.70p
Change Today -0.80p
52 Week High 131.40p
52 Week Low 97.35p
Volume 787,418
Shares Issued 660.36m
Market Cap 704.61m


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Ex-Div 12-Dec-19 23-May-19
Paid 27-Jan-20 02-Jul-19
Amount 4.80p 2.70p