By Maximilian Clarke

Double-digit profit growth has delivered strong earnings per share at Marston's (LSE: MARS), as the company prepares for an expansion plan that could create as many as 1,000 jobs.

The leading pub company and brewery ensured strong performance by focusing on food, sales of which are up 5% on last year, compared to a more modest 1.2% increase in sales of alcoholic drinks. Earnings per share have also seen double digit growth

“We achieved impressive sales and profit growth in each of our businesses despite the challenging consumer environment. Customers are looking for affordable treats, and our focus on value, service and quality in a traditional pub environment has proved successful," Ralph Findlay, the company’s Chief Executive said.

“Our new-build pub-restaurants; the introduction of franchise agreements in around 350 pubs; and increased commercial support to our tenanted and free trade customers are all contributing to the achievement of our key objectives. 
The successful implementation of our strategy will mean that we will create around 1,000 new jobs in 2012. Pubs make a real contribution to employment, and the government can help by recognising that its policies on taxation, and beer duty in particular, are damaging to pubs, brewers and jobs.”

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