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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Jennings brewery’s parent company enjoys strong Christmas sales

The parent company of Cockermouth brewer Jennings Brothers has unveiled strong Christmas sales figures.

Pubs run by Marston’s enjoyed buoyant Christmas takings as more families opted to take the strain out of festive entertaining.

The company’s managed pubs saw a 5.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the key three weeks to January 5, including a jump of 10 per cent on Christmas Day.

Marston’s chief executive, Ralph Findlay, said the company had been encouraged by the performance although the impact of last week’s snow meant like-for-like sales were only 1.2 per cent higher in the 16 weeks to Saturday.

Marston’s has 2,150 pubs tenanted, franchised and managed pubs across the country.

It is a major brewer of premium cask and bottled ales. The beer portfolio includes Jennings, Marston’s Pedigree and Hobgoblin, Banks’s, Wychwood, Ringwood, Brakspear and Mansfield. The company employs around 13,000 people.

Previously known as Wolverhampton & Dudley, it acquired Jennings in 2005.

Mr Findlay said he was confident of further progress, despite various external factors.

He added: “We expect economic pressures to continue to constrain consumer confidence, and see no evidence that the Government recognises the damage being caused to pubs by high taxation and over-regulation.”

Marston’s said profits at its tenanted and franchise pubs were estimated to be around 2.0 per cent higher than last year in the 16 week period.

Brewing profits were in line with our expectations but its brands performed better than most with own-brewed beer volumes up 5.0 per cent on last year thanks to “significant growth” in the off-trade.

Other pub groups have reported similar trends for the festive period.

Greene King posted record takings for Christmas Day.

Marston’s is due to announce interim results for the six months to March 30 on May 16.

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