Marstons increases its 2015 full year dividend by 4.7%

DividendMax Ltd.

Marstons increases its 2015 full year dividend by 4.7%

Strong trading performance:

- Underlying Group revenue up 7% to £845.5 million

- Underlying profit before tax up 10% to £91.5 million

- Underlying earnings per share up 10% to 12.9p

- Profit growth in all trading segments despite disposals

- Operating cashflow up £34.5 million to £162.3 million

- Leverage reduced 0.3x to 5.1x

- Return on capital up 0.3% to 10.8%

- Statutory profit before tax up £90.5 million to £31.3 million

Transformation of pub estate well advanced, average profit per pub up to £100k:

- 25 new pub restaurants completed this year, creating 1,250 new jobs

- Continued conversion of Taverns to Franchise - around 550 now converted

- High quality Leased business delivered like-for-like profit and rental growth

- Average profit per pub up 15% in 2015, up around 40% since 2012

Market-leading beer business continues to grow strongly:

- Strong brand portfolio continues to outperform market with volumes up 15%

- Innovation continues - Hobgoblin Gold c.20k barrels sold since launch this year

- Thwaites acquisition complements strategy and fully integrated

Final dividend up 4.7% to 4.5p per share reflecting progress and confidence in strategy; dividend cover improved to 1.8 times

Well positioned for growth in 2016

- Good start to new financial year, in line with expectations

- At least 20 new-build pubs, including our first new-build Tavern planned for current  
 year, as well as 2 Revere bars and 5 lodges

- Focus on premium and craft beer driving growth and delivering market outperformance

Commenting, Ralph Findlay, CEO 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.

"At this early stage of the current year trading has begun well and we look forward to building on this momentum over the months ahead to deliver another year of good progress for the Group."

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