Marston's rules out Real Estate Investment Trust conversion

25 May 2007 by
Marston's rules out Real Estate Investment Trust conversion

Following in the footsteps of its rivals, Marston's has become the fourth pub operator in as many weeks to rule out a real estate investment trust (REIT) conversion.

The brewer and pub operator said it believed that the costs of splitting the business into operating and property companies would offset any tax benefits.

Marston's also said such a move would comprise the "operational flexibility" of freehold pub ownership, which was critical in competing in today's market.

The admission came as Marston's saw turnover rise across its estate of managed and leased pubs and brewing interest by 8.5% to £305.3m (2006: £281.4m) in the six months ended 31 March.

While acquisitions such as Eldridge Pope added £13.4m to the top-line, group pre-tax profit fell from £41m to £38.4m after an exceptional integration charge of £3.2m relating to Eldridge Pope and Sovereign Inns.

Marston's managed pub division, Inns and Taverns, finished the period with turnover up 1% year-on-year to £154.6m, as food sales became 33% of total sales. Operating profit rose to £26.1m (2006: £25.9m).

The leased unit, Marston's Pub Company, saw turnover leap 12.4% to £97.1m and operating profit 13.9% higher at £43.3m (2006: £38m).

Marston's sells package of pubs to Piccadilly Licensed Properties >>

Marston's results show continued growth >>

Marston's buys rival Eldridge Pope >>

By Christopher Walton

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