PUBS run by brewery group Marston's reported strong festive sales as more families opted to eat out at Christmas.

The company's managed pubs saw a 5.8% rise in like-for-like sales for the three weeks to January 5, including a jump of 10% on Christmas Day. Chief executive Ralph Findlay was encouraged by the performance, although last week's snow meant like-for-like sales were 1.2% higher in the 16 weeks to Saturday. Marston's plans to open 10 pubs in Scotland over three years as part of a £25 million investment, creating up to 500 jobs.

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