Pub Group Marston’s Shares Take Knock After Warning On Profit

UK pub and brewing group Marston’s said it expected a fall in profit this year as it took a hit from lower food sales, sending its share price sharply down, the Financial Times reported. Shares in the Wolverhampton-group, which runs the Pitcher & Piano and Revere chains, fell as much as 11 per cent on Tuesday morning after it forecast an underlying pre-tax profit of about £101m for the year to September, down from £104m a year earlier. The group said it had suffered lower food sales, while higher labour costs and investment meant its profit margin would be below last year’s. “Although drinking out is holding up well, eating out is not,” said analysts at Peel Hunt in a note to investors. Casual dining groups in the UK have suffered in recent years as a private equity-fuelled expansion has saturated the market. Read more