Leading pub operator reveals increase in sales

Birmingham pub and restaurant owners Mitchells & Butlers say sales rose by just under ten per cent in the final quarter of the year.

The company which owns a series of brands including Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One says trading remains slightly ahead of expectations despite the tough economic climate and the squeeze on consumer spending,

Strong trading has continued through the fourth quarter, bringing year to date like-for-like sales growth to 9.1 per cent, with total sales growth now of 10.5 per cent.

Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter increased by 9.7 per cent supported by sustained growth in both food and drink volumes and reflecting an increasing out-performance against the market.

The firm continues to focus on investment in its estate and this it has completed 142 conversions and remodels, including two to the newly acquired Ego brand, in addition to opening four new sites.

Mitchells & Butlers say economic headwinds are abating and remain at the bottom end of the range previously identified.

The company added that it remains mindful of the challenging macroeconomic environment and pressures on the consumer.

It added that as trading continues to be strong it has confidence that the current year outturn will be at the top end of consensus expectations.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: “We are delighted to have continued our strong like-for-like sales performance through the fourth quarter, underpinned by volume growth and reflecting increasing out-performance against the market.

“Going forward we shall remain focused on executing the drivers of this strong performance, our Ignite programme of growth and efficiency initiatives and our capital investment programme which, combined with our diverse portfolio of established brands and enviable estate locations, leaves us well positioned to continue to outperform the sector and see improved profitability.”

Mitchells & Butlers is one of the UK’s  leading operator of managed restaurants and pubs.

Its portfolio of brands includes Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Miller & Carter, Premium Country Pubs, Sizzling Pubs, Stonehouse, Vintage Inns, Browns, Castle, Nicholson’s, O’Neill’s, Ember Inns and Ego Restaurants.

It also operates Innkeeper’s Collection hotels in the UK and Alex restaurants and bars in Germany.