M&B has seen a slight lift in sales since the end of September

M&B has seen a slight lift in sales since the end of September

UK pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has reported a slight rise in autumn and winter sales, helped by strong Christmas trading and mild weather.  

The group, which owns around 1,600 on-trade oulets in the UK, said combined drink and food sales rose 2% year-on-year in the 17 weeks to 25 January. Drink sales edged up 1.3% in the period, while food sales saw a 2.5% lift. 

Drink sales recovered after previously coming in flat in the first eight weeks of the group's financial year to 23 November. 

In a statement today (30 January), the company, whose branded chains include Nicholson's, O'Neill's and All Bar One, said it had its “biggest ever sales week” over the UK's festive period. 

Alistair Darby, M&B's chief executive, said: "We have delivered a strong trading performance over our busiest time of the year, with good sales growth. 

“We are reducing staff turnover, modernising our systems, increasing guest satisfaction and delivering against our transformation plan to create sustainable value for shareholders.” 

In full-year figures, the group reported a 2.2% lift in sales while profits soared due to lower impairment costs compared to the previous financial year