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UK. Marston’s sales at pubs rise 6 pct during holidays

British pub and brewing company Marston's Plc, known for beer brands such as Marston's Pedigree and Hobgoblin, said comparable sales rose 5.8 percent at its pubs in the Christmas holiday season.

The company, which operates around 2,150 pubs across England and Wales, said like-for-like sales at its managed pubs in the three weeks ended Jan. 5 was helped by a 10 percent rise on Christmas.

For the 16 weeks to Jan. 19, the company reported a 1.2 percent increase in like-for-like sales at its managed pubs as snowfall hit sales in the last week, but said profitability was in line with its expectations.

Heavy snowfall has hit businesses and travellers across Britain threatening an unprecedented "triple-dip" recession that could knock the government's economic plans further off track.

British pub operators have benefited as cash-strapped customers choose to treat themselves to meals at their local pub instead of dining out at restaurants.

Pub and breweries group Greene King reported last week a rise in sales for the 36 weeks to Jan. 6, buoyed by strong trading during the Christmas period.

Marston's shares were down 2 percent at 132.11 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 0844 GMT on Tuesday. They rose more than 30 percent last year.

22 Jan. 2013

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