UK – Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) has announced plans to close London Fields Brewery (LFB) as focus shifts to stronger brands with greater potential for growth.
The brewer in a statement revealed that it had entered into consultation with members of staff at the site as it explored market interest for the brewery.
Following the closure of the Brewery, Paul Davies, CMBC chief executive said the company’s brewing partner Cameron’s will continue to brew LFB in the usual manner to meet existing on-trade customer supply until a sale is finalized.
“This decision in no way reflects upon the hard work and dedication that has been put into building LFB since we purchased the brewery in 2017,” Davies added.
“But after several months of careful review, it is clear that growing LFB will require significant time, resource, and marketing investment.”
The planned closure comes four years after CMBC bought London Fields as a joint venture with New Yorkbased Brooklyn Brewery.
Investment was made to re-introduce brewing at its original home under the railway arches in Hackney, London and to upgrade its tap-room and events space.
“We understand this news will be devastating to the team and disappointing to many others,” Davies continued.
“But we cannot shy away from making the difficult choices that we believe are crucial to investing in scaling the right brands for the future and making CMBC a stronger industry leading business.”
Davies, however, expressed confidence that LFB has the potential of becoming a craft brewer outside of CMBC “given the brand’s London provenance and well-invested brewery will be attractive to other industry players.”
Marston’s results improve
Earlier, Marston’s PLC released its latest financial results where it halved its annual loss and expressed confidence that “the worst of the pandemic is now behind”.
Marston’s said its pretax loss narrowed to £171.1 million from £388.7 million in the financial year that ended October 2.
The Wolverhampton, Midlands-based pub and hotel operator said revenue from continuing operations fell by 22% to £401.7 million from £515.5 million.
The company was however able to cut operating expenses by even more, by 39% to £492.2 million from £801.0 million.
Marston’s pubs were open for just over half of the total trading days in the recent financial year, due to UK government restrictions aimed at containing Covid-19.
The pub chain is confident that its current trading is encouraging, with total like-for-like sales growth of 1.3% versus 2019 despite a reduction in value-added tax relief in the UK.
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