Pub firm Mitchells & Butlers ditches CEO, warns on profits

Phil Urban replaces Alistair Darby as wet summer hurts sales growth

British pubs group Mitchells & Butlers has replaced its chief executive Alistair Darby with insider Phil Urban as it warned weak recent trade would push full-year profit to the bottom end of market forecasts.

The group, whose pubs include Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One, said Mr Urban, who joined M&B as chief operating officer in January, would take control on September 27th with Mr Darby leaving the day before.

“The non-executive directors have considered the issue of the leadership of M&B very carefully and are delighted to announce Phil’s appointment,” chairman Bob Ivell said.

M&B, whose shares are down 19 per cent on a year ago, warned on profits after wet summer weather hurt recent sales growth. Total sales for the first 50 weeks of the year were up 7 per cent and by 1 per cent on a like-for-like basis, it said.


Prior to Tuesday’s announcement analysts had forecast full-year pretax profit in a range of £179.40 million to £203.90 million, according to Reuters data, with a consensus of £189 million.