Marstons increases its 2016 interim dividend by 4%

DividendMax Ltd.

Marstons increases its 2016 interim dividend by 4%

Strong trading performance:

- Underlying Group revenue up 11.5% to £428.7 million

- Underlying profit before tax up 11.8% to £33.1 million

- Underlying earnings per share up 11.9% to 4.7 pence per share

- Profit growth in all trading segments

- Operating cash flow up £23.1 million to £81.3 million

- Leverage reduced 0.4x to 5.0x. Fixed charge cover up 0.2x to 2.6x

- Statutory profit before tax up £50.3 million to £22.8 million

High quality pub estate delivering strong growth:

- Like-for-like sales growth of 3% across managed and franchised pubs

- Seven pubs and three lodges opened in the period

- First new-build Tavern successfully opened under franchise model

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

- Average profit per pub up 13% in 2016, up 44% since 2012

Market-leading beer business continues to grow strongly:

- Underlying operating profit growth of 16% driven by Thwaites acquisition

- Strong brand portfolio continues to outperform market with volumes up 22%

- Market share up 1.5% in premium cask ale and 1.1% in bottled ale

- Hobgoblin Gold (2014 launch) now a 'top 15' premium bottled ale

Interim dividend up 4% to 2.6p per share; cover of 1.8 times improved vs H1 2015

Full year plans on track

- Performance to date in line with expectations

- At least 20 new pubs this financial year, including two Revere bars

- Five new lodges

Commenting, Ralph Findlay, CEO said:

"We are encouraged by our first half performance and are on track to meet our expectations for the year. In pubs, we have driven our growth by the organic development of pub-restaurants and franchise-style pubs, and more recently through investment in lodges and premium bars, widening our appeal. In Brewing, we had an excellent first half year and achieved good growth through our industry-leading brands and service."

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