Marston’s has released a trading update saying group sales are down 30% on last year to £821m.

Total pub sales for the year were £515m, down 34% on last year.

It also said that 2,150 jobs are at risk due to the new restrictions.

“This year has been testing on many fronts,” said CEO Ralph Findlay.

“Trading has been difficult, but to operate at 90% of last year on a like-for-like basis is better than our forecast, ahead of the market and a highly creditable result.

“In part, this is because most of our pubs are in suburban or community settings, and we have relatively few pubs in city centres which have been worst hit by changes in working habits.

“However, the additional restrictions which have been applied across the UK most recently present significant challenges to us and will make business more difficult for a period of time.

“I very much regret that the consequence of this is that the jobs of around 2,150 of our colleagues will be impacted, but it is an inevitable consequence of the limitations placed upon our business. We will be looking at our cost base further in the coming weeks.

“We have managed our cash flow very carefully and it is a credit to our teams that net debt is £70 million below where it was at end of the Financial Year 2019 and £50 million below the Interim 2020 level despite the 15 weeks of pubs closure.

“There is much uncertainty ahead, the majority of which is outside of our control, however we will continue to focus on the safety of our teams and guests. Looking beyond the immediate challenges, we look forward to our future as a focused pub operator, returning to growth when trading conditions allow and realising the opportunities which are open to us over the medium to longer term.”