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Marston's swings to loss after writing down value of pubs

Pub owner and brewer Marston's swung to a first-half loss and kept its dividend steady after asset write-downs offset rising revenue.

Pre-tax losses amounted to £13.4m, compared to a profit of £36.7m in the previous corresponding period.

The loss was driven by accounting adjustments relating to the estate valuation and changes in the fair value of interest rate swaps, the company said.

Underlying pre-tax profit rose 8% to £36.3m, while revenue rose 20% to £528.1m.

The interim dividend was maintained 2.7p per share.

Marston's said it expected to deliver growth in both revenue and underlying pre-tax profit in 2018.

'We are pleased to report another period of good growth in revenue and underlying profit before tax,' chief executive Ralph Findlay said.

'Strong trading in brewing and taverns and leased pubs offsets the adverse impact of poor weather on 'drive-to' pubs in our destination estate, further validating the resilience of our model.'

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