UK pub group Marston's reports higher sales on strong Christmas season

Credit: REUTERS/CARL RECINE

Adds CEO comment in paragraph 3, background and shares in paragraphs 4-7

Jan 23 (Reuters) - British pub group Marston's MARS.L on Tuesday reported a more than 8% rise in sales for the last 16 weeks, helped by strong demand for both drinks and food during the Christmas season.

The predominantly suburban pub group said like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to Jan. 20 were up 8.1%, and the key festive days witnessed a 9.6% rise from a year ago.

"This, together with an improving outlook in which inflationary headwinds are broadly abating, and the actions we are taking to operate more efficiently and rebuild margins, position Marston's well for the year ahead," recently appointed CEO Justin Platt said in a statement.

Resilient customer spending has helped British pub groups during an uncertain economic environment, even as fears of customers cutting back loom.

Data from Barclays earlier this month showed that shoppers spent more at pubs and clubs during the festive season, while they cut back on spending at supermarkets and petrol stations.

Shares of the company were up 4.6% in early trade.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Eileen Soreng)

((Radhika.Anilkumar@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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