Beer sales from Marston’s Beer Company have jumped 19% to £47.5m, following increased popularity of regional ales and its acquisition of Hobgoblin maker Wychwood Brewery.

The Midlands brewer and pub operator said the increased popularity of regional ales in supermarkets and pubs had helped its brands, which include Marston’s Pedigree and Banks’s, “significantly outperform the UK beer market” in the first half of the year.

Its share of the premium bottled ale category had “significantly increased” to 17.7%, boosted by its acquisition of Wychwood brewery in April 2008.

Chief executive Ralph Findlay said “costs were firmly under control” but the group remained cautious about the weak economy.

“We remain well positioned to benefit from any sustained up-turn in the trading environment and to exploit opportunities presented by the changing demands of customers, including increased tourism in the UK,” Findlay said. “Costs remain firmly under control and cash generation strong.”

The group’s overall turnover was down 2.8% at £307.5m, with operating profits down 9.9% at £65.4m.

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