By Marcus Leach

Marston's, the brewery and pub chain owner, have announced that they will continue to expand with 25 new pubs in 2012.

This move will see them take on over 1,000 extra employees and comes on the back of an increase in profits this year.

Financial Highlights:

- Group revenue up 4.8% to £682.2 million (2010: £650.7 million)
- Underlying profit before tax of £80.4 million up 9.4% (2010: £73.5 million)
- Marston’s Inns and Taverns like-for-like (lfl) sales up 2.9% with underlying operating margins up 0.7% and average profit per pub up 10%
- Marston’s Pub Company operating profit up 0.6%, with both traditional estate and Retail Agreements in profit growth
- Marston’s Beer Company revenue up 0.4% and operating profit up 0.6% with Group ale volumes up 2%
- Cash return on capital employed up 0.2% to 9.8%
- Strong operating cashflow of £182.4 million reduces leverage; new bank facility of £257.5 million to May 2016

“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, 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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