Marston's boss: "Business rates and VAT relief extensions until 2022 are minimum needed to save pubs"

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Pub group Marston's has warned it expects the pubs to reopen in March at the earliest, with its leader calling on them to extend the holiday beyond April's current cut - off date and reduce VAT once the doors end.

Millward boss Ralph Findlay said today extending the leave and VAT concessions for businesses until 2021 was the 'minimum requirement' necessary to help pubs survive the pandemic.

The update for the 13 weeks ending on January 2, 2021, shows that commerce had been significantly severely disrupted because of the Covid-19 restrictions, effective in England, Scotland and Wales.

Reward in the 1.400 pubs in Marston was only £54million, down against sales of £1.17billion in 2019.

The company also raised £233m to pay off part of its £1.3bn.

Despite the disruption, Marston's said it was continuing to focus on strategic growth, using the £223 million secured from its late October joint venture with Carlsberg UK to reduce debt.

Looking ahead, Marston's said it still focused on delivering the business and it expected that if restrictions were lifted it would be "well placed to deliver strong demand."

State aid was obtained with the employment safeguarding programme, 97% of workers in full time employment, and by means of measures to relax Company rates.