City briefs: Mitchells & Butlers; Mailbox REIT

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Pubco Mitchells & Butlers says although restrictions across its estate have been lifted, total sales year to date are still only at 35% of pre-Covid levels.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, the company said: “Since 17 May substantially all of our estate has been open for 10 weeks of trading both indoors and outdoors, during which time sales have been volatile. In the first five weeks like-for-like sales were strong at 98% of pre-Covid levels, supported in particular by pent up consumer demand on full re-opening.

“Across the following five weeks activity was slower on average, with like-for-like sales at 89% of pre-Covid levels although most recently there has been some sign of improvement following further easing of restrictions on ‘Freedom Day’ in England. Aside from the impact of selected games during the Euros, sales have generally been stronger in suburban and food-led brands, with city centre sites being the most challenged.”

Mailbox REIT, the owner of the Mailbox in Birmingham is set to declare its first dividend.

As of 27 July 2021, the Mailbox had collected 92.6% of the contractual June 2021 quarter day demands, with the remaining 7.4% either due during the quarter, as result of agreed payment plans, or in negotiations with tenants.

The board will pay out an interim dividend of 0.92 pence per share for the period from the IPO on 14 May 2021 to 30 June 2021, equating to £781,085 in total.

Stephen Barter, non-executive chairman of Mailbox REIT, said: “Since listing we have made good progress with our value enhancing asset management plans for the Mailbox and most notably with the ongoing conversion of low income producing retail space into high income producing office space.

“The board is confident that the Mailbox REIT can provide attractive total returns to our shareholders. These will come from our long let, very low to low risk tenant base, from which we continue to benefit from high collection levels, supported by our robust balance sheet and the ongoing conversion of low income producing retail space into high income producing office space, which should together drive further value for our shareholders.”