The glass is half-full for Mitchells & Butlers

The glass is half-full for Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells & Butlers has said that it is confident about its prospects after moving quickly to transform its pub, bar and restaurant estate in the UK.

Mitchells & Butlers' (M&B) drive to reduce its reliance on on-trade drinks sales was boosted in August when the firm announced that it had agreed to sell 330 drinks-based bars for GBP373m (US$582m).

"I am pleased at the speed of delivery on our strategic plan," said the firm's CEO, Adam Fowle, in a full-year trading update today (23 September). He added that M&B's performance over the last 12 months has been "very encouraging".

Like-for-like sales for the 51 weeks to 18 September rose by 2% on the previous year, led by greater momentum in the final nine weeks of the year. Drinks sales rose by 0.5% for the 12 months, overshadowed by a 4.5% increase in food sales.

"The business has demonstrated a resilient performance over the past 12 months, growing both sales and margins, during a period that has experienced a subdued consumer environment and the January value added tax rise," said M&B.

It will release its full-year results for the 52 weeks to 25 September on 23 November.