The owner of All Bar One and Harvester has toasted the recent hot weather spell for helping drive a welcome turnaround in trading.
Mitchells & Butlers, which also owns chains including Toby Carvery and O’Neill’s, reported a 1.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the eight weeks to September 17th. It thanked the heatwaves in August and earlier this month for the return to sales growth, with drink sales surging by 3.7 per cent and food up 0.4 per cent.
The figures mark a rebound for the group, in which Irish businessmen John Magnier and JP McManus's Elipda vehicle holds a 23 per cent stake, after sales had fallen throughout a difficult past year, with like-for-like sales in the 51 weeks so far down by 0.8 per cent.
Phil Urban, chief executive of M&B, said: "We are encouraged by our improved trading performance in recent months."
He repeated warnings over soaring costs from the recently introduced national living wage. This, together with investment in a revamp across its estate, will hit profit margins over the year to the end of September. – PA