West Midlands pub chain Marston’s has pledged to build another 25 pubs in an expansion drive set to create 1,000 jobs over the next year.

The Wolverhampton-based company, which employs 12,000 people and has an estate of 2,150 pubs under brands including Pitcher & Piano and Tavern Table, has been buoyed by “impressive” sales and profits growth over the last financial year.

During the period to October 1, it sold more than 26 million meals in its managed pubs - at an average spend per head of £6.10 - as customers went in search of “affordable treats” during the economic downturn.

Chief executive Ralph Findlay said the company’s strategy of opening purpose-built pubs would continue, following the opening of 19 pubs in the last year.

He added: “Pubs make a real contribution to employment, and the government can help by recognising that its policies on taxation, and beer duty in particular, are damaging to pubs, brewers and jobs.”

The company reported a 9.4% increase in underlying profits to £80.4 million in the year to October 1, after also reporting strong demand for its real ales including Pedigree and Banks’s.

It said its strong performance continued in recent weeks, with like-for-like sales up 3%, compared to 2.9% in the full-year.