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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 14:55 GMT
Brewer adopts name of top brand
A leading independent brewing and pub retailer has adopted the name of one of its best-known ale brands.

Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries is now called Marston's after shareholders voted in favour by an overwhelming majority to change the name.

A spokesman said that Marston's was chosen because it is "seen as a major national brand" whereas the company's other ales were more regional.

It has breweries in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and the Lake District.

Marston's has been brewed since 1834.

Hot summer

The firm, which now has 2,352 pubs, dates back to 1890, when three local brewing businesses amalgamated.

The company was listed on the London stock exchange in 1947 and in 1999 acquired Marston's Brewery, including its flagship ale, Marston's Pedigree.

Chairman David Thompson said recently: "This change reflects the fact that in recent years we have become a national business, as demonstrated by the growth of the Marston's brands and the acquisition and development of our pub estate across the country."

In December the brewer attributed a 13.2% rise in profits to the fine summer weather and football World Cup-related trade.

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