Pub group Marston’s has appointed former Merlin Entertainments executive Justin Platt as its new boss. 

It comes as Andrew Andrea announced he will quit the role, which he has held for two years, with immediate effect.

Andrea succeeded longtime boss Ralph Findlay as the pub chain’s CEO in October 2021, having spent the 12 previous years as its chief financial officer.

Standing down: The chief executive of Marston's, Andrew Andrea (pictured), has quit after just two years in the job

Standing down: The chief executive of Marston’s, Andrew Andrea (pictured), has quit after just two years in the job

Marston’s said that while Andrea had stood down with immediate effect, he would remain at the firm ‘for a period to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.’

Platt will take charge on 10 January and Marston’s executive team will report to chairman William Rucker in the meantime.

Platt is the current chief strategy officer of Merlin Entertainments, which runs the theme parks Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures.

Prior to Merlin, he worked for AstraZeneca as its global consumer marketing director and had also spent time at Kellogg’s, Imperial Leather owner PZ Cussons, and GlaxoSmithKline – since renamed GSK.

Rucker said Platt’s ‘broad consumer sector expertise, strategic acumen and prowess in customer experience at Merlin will be of great benefit to Marston’s at this stage in the company’s journey.’

Andrea told investors: ‘I am extremely proud to have navigated Marston’s out of the pandemic as a focussed pub business and put in place a first-class management team who are achieving market outperformance.

‘This is the right time for me to step down, and I am confident the business is in great shape with strong future potential.’

His tenure at Marston’s has been filled with dramatic changes at the Wolverhampton-based company, including the £780million merger of its brewing operations with Carlsberg’s UK division in 2020.

More notably, it coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic causing heavy damage to the British hospitality sector as ‘non-essential’ businesses were forced to temporarily close.

As lockdown-related restrictions were loosened, Marston’s rebounded more quickly than many other pub groups due partly to the growth in hybrid working and its sites being predominantly located in rural and suburban locations.

It has also dealt reasonably well with elevated inflationary pressures by hedging gas and electricity costs, although the company has not paid a dividend for the past three years because of heightened economic uncertainty.

Last month, Marston’s declared that operating profits were set to be higher than anticipated in the current fiscal year following head-office cost reductions.

The firm made the forecast alongside results showing that like-for-like turnover grew by 10.1 per cent in the year ending September thanks to strong food and drink sales.

Trading received a further boost from the extra bank holiday in May to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation and the FIFA World Cup last winter. 

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Marston’s has been trading well, and Mr Andrea has steered the group through a tough period following the pandemic.

‘Marston’s has always been a “steady as she goes” type of business, so to bring in someone from outside of the pubs sector to run it implies a shift in thinking.’

Marston’s shares were 0.8 per cent lower at 32.25p on Friday morning, meaning they have slumped by 69 per cent in the past five years.

Source: | This article originally belongs to thehealthsite.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

MAGGIE PAGANO: Innovation and bank help foil criminal

A few days ago, I shopped at my local Waitrose, leaving at…

Metro Bank draws up plan to avoid risk to taxpayers

Metro Bank has drawn up plans for an orderly wind-down if it…

BP blasted over ‘toxic’ Bernard Looney as search begins for new boss

BP has been accused of turning a blind eye to Bernard Looney’s…

Herts mansion with £5M OFF is among most reduced homes for sale

The asking prices on these properties for sale on Zoopla have been…