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Pubs tipped for £210mln drinking spree when they reopen at the weekend

Profits are expected to be 75% lower than usual due to social distancing rules

Marston’s PLC - England’s pubs to see £210mln shopping spree on next weekend’s reopening but industry still at risk

England’s pubs are set to enjoy a £210mln spending splurge when they reopen over the weekend, according to reports today.

Sales are tipped to jump by 32% compared to the average pre-COVID-19 weekend after three months of pent-up demand, with potential price increases as well as the usual summer spike adding to the binge.

READ: Government allows pubs and restaurants to reopen on July 4

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a third of adults will return to pubs within a week, despite many people remaining cautious over public spaces.

However, despite the two-metre social distancing rule being relaxed to  ‘one metre plus’, many publicans are worried about trading as capacity is likely to remain capped.

“The combination of this means that industry-wide profitability is set to be more than 75% lower while such rules remain in place, posing a considerable threat to the industry as a whole,” analysts at CEBR said.

“So long as lingering fears around the virus continue to thwart consumer confidence, even Dutch courage won’t be enough to fuel spending beyond the initial reopening.”

Industry stocks were depressed on Tuesday afternoon, with Marston’s PLC (LON:MARS) slipping 8%to 53.1p, Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) down 2% to 188.15p, JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) 1% lower at 1,015.75p and Fuller, Smith & Turner plc (LON:FSTA) flat at 775.7p.

Quick facts: Marston’s PLC

Price: 48.66 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £321.33 m

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