Pub operator and brewer Marston’s opened 25 new pub restaurants in the past year, creating 1,250 new jobs, with plans to build a further 20 new pubs in 2016.
The expansion comes as Marston’s announced its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 3 October 2015. Underlying group revenue rose 7% to £845.5m and underlying profit before tax climbed 10% to £91.5m. The average profit per pub was up 15% in 2015, a rise of around 40% since 2012.
CEO Ralph Findlay also reported that the company was progressing well with the conversion of its taverns to franchise operations, with around 550 sites now converted.
On the beer side, the company reported volumes up 15%, with new launch Hobgoblin Gold having sold around 20,000 barrels in its first year. Findlay said the Thwaites brewing business had now been fully integrated since its earlier purchase.
Findlay said: 'The three year transformation of our pub portfolio towards an optimised estate is now largely complete. We approach 2016 with our business successfully positioned at the forefront of industry trends with high quality, well-invested pub assets which are fit for the future. We have great people and a growing portfolio of leading beer brands where our focus on premium and local provenance continues to serve us well.
'Looking forward, we remain on track to open at least 20 new-build pubs this year and have in place a carefully selected site pipeline in key regional locations for 2016 and beyond. Whilst new-build, food-led pubs remain our core growth driver, we have evolved our strategy to capitalise upon other opportunities for expansion where we see attractive returns potential.'