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Poor UK summer hits Marston's sales; Debt cuts accelerated

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Wednesday 24 Jul 2019

Poor UK summer hits Marston's sales; Debt cuts accelerated

(Sharecast News) - Poor weather in May and June hit brewer Marston's, which reported a "modest" 0.5% rise in like-for-like sales at its managed and franchised pubs for the 42 weeks to July 20.
The company said it had decided to accelerate plans to cut debt and generate cash by deferring its remaining new-build plans and reallocate £20m - £30m of £70m in new-build capital expenditure "to drive higher returns from our existing estate".

"We believe that this focus will further enhance our returns from our existing pub business and reduce our debt at an even greater pace," the company said in a trading statement.

In its destination and premium business, like-for-like sales for the period were 0.1% ahead of last year and in taverns 1.1% ahead of last year.

Marston's in January said it wanted to cut debt by £200m from 2020-2023 through reduced capital expenditure, £120m in disposals and a reduction in interest and pension costs.

"We have made good progress already in this regard and remain on track to hit our 2019 cashflow and debt targets," it said on Wednesday.

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