Marston's warns of a tough winter after an annual loss of £397m

Monday, December 14, 2020

Marston's Plc reported a broadened full-year loss Thursday, as it grappled to contain the Spread of Covid-19 after pubs across the UK were shut down.

Wolverhampton-based company, which runs pubs in the region, reported revenues were hit by the 15-week closure of pubs from late March due to Covid 19.

Chief executive Ralph Findlay told the company: '2020 has been an extraordinarily difficult year for the pub and wider hospitality sector which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.'

The firm -- which has previously opened consultations on cutting up to 2,150 jobs to cope with the drop in sales as a result of lockouts -- said reduced VAT, business rates and other taxes are all still needed for state support.

In the 53 weeks to October 3, Marston's posted a pretax loss of £388.7m, sharply upwardly from a loss of £44.7m a year earlier.

780 of its pubs have been shut since it was shut down again in November following a new coronavirus outbreak.

The company suspended dividends throughout 2019, which amounted to 7% above the general UK pub sector, saying it had not yet made a decision on when it would reintroduce dividends.