Marston’s, the brewery, pubs and hotels group, has reported strong sales over the Christmas fortnight. It said that like-for-like sales, which exclude new venues, were up 4.5% on the same period a year ago.
Food sales were weaker in its pubs though, and the first three weeks of December saw “subdued trading” because of bad weather.
Bosses also warned the planned rise in the National Minimum Wage from April is likely to affect the company’s profits.
The company said the 6.2% increase to £8.72 an hour for workers 25-years-old and above and a 6.5% increase for those aged 21 to 24, is “higher than anticipated and will increase second half-year costs by a further £2 million to £3 million”.