Coronavirus Update

Marston's Plc - Interim Results ended 28 March 2020

This content has been sourced from: https://www.investegate.co.uk/marston-s-plc/rns/in...

MARSTON'S PLC

INTERIM RESULTS FOR THE 26 WEEKS ENDED 28 MARCH 2020

COVID-19 impact on H1 earnings and improvement in cash flow

Transformational joint venture transaction provides strong platform for post-pandemic recovery
 

 

Underlying

 

Statutory

 

2020*

2019

 

2020*

2019

Revenue

£510.5m

£553.1m

 

£510.5m

£553.1m

Profit/(loss) before tax

£9.4m

£34.2m

 

£(33.2)m

£16.3m

Earnings/(loss) per share

1.2p

4.5p

 

(4.4)p

2.2p

Net cash flow

£3m

£(52)m

 

 

 

  *2020 results reflect adoption of IFRS 16 'Leases'

PERFORMANCE AND FINANCING

Pre-COVID-19 revenues in line with last year

  • COVID-19 had a material impact on revenues estimated at c£40 million

Net cash flow improvement of £55 million reflecting progress on debt reduction plans

  • Achieved despite COVID-19 impact on earnings
  • Includes £61 million disposal proceeds through sale of 168 pubs.

Additional liquidity secured and covenants amended beyond end of financial year

  • £70 million additional facility to November 2020;  £118 million headroom on facilities
  • Covenant amendments and waivers on all finance facilities
  • Cash burn of £10m per month in closure period following swift action on cost reduction
  • Cash flow supported by very strong off-trade sales - up 55% since half year

OUTLOOK

Transformational joint venture transaction

  • Long-term joint venture between Marston's Beer Company ("MBC") and Carlsberg UK
  • Retain 40% stake in a high quality beer business with significant synergy opportunity
  • Receive up to £273 million equalisation payment - valuing MBC at £580 million
  • Proceeds used to further reduce debt, target ongoing cash flow broadly cash neutral
  • Transaction approved by shareholders 25 June and expected to complete in Q3 2020, subject to competition clearance

Well placed for post COVID-19 recovery in medium term

  • Plans in place for pubs to reopen from 4 July, initial revenue and earnings profile uncertain
  • Transaction significantly strengthens balance sheet
  • Predominantly freehold pub estate, located outside city centres with 90% having outside space
  • Well placed to benefit from likely supply contraction in sector and gain market share
  • Management will have total future focus on operating its pubs and accommodation business
  • Capital markets day in autumn to present pub strategy

Commenting, Ralph Findlay, CEO said:

"Our immediate priority is to prepare our pubs to reopen on 4 July.  Whilst there is short term uncertainty as the sector emerges from lockdown, we are focussed on offering a great guest experience, synonymous with Marston's hospitality, to welcome our customers back into our pubs within a safe trading environment.

"The challenges facing the sector should not be underestimated and much rests on consumer confidence which may take time to rebuild.  As the industry navigates its way out of lockdown, we will continue to urge Government for continued support for pubs and wider hospitality, through the reopening phase and thereafter through business rates relief and cuts to VAT, to protect jobs, the economy and the invaluable role the pub plays in communities nationwide.

"Looking ahead, our transformational deal with Carlsberg positions the Company well for the future.  Post completion, Marston's will be a focussed pub and accommodation business with a significantly strengthened balance sheet, well placed to rebuild trading momentum and leverage the market opportunities available to us over the medium to longer term."