Mitchells & Butlers transformation plan boosts profits

McManus and Magnier-backed pub chain maintains like-for-like sales growth

UK pub chain Mitchells & Butlers saw adjusted operating profit grow in the second half of the year, and maintained its like-for-like sales growth, the company said.

The company, which is backed by businessmen JP McManus and John Magnier, said like-for-like sales grew 1.3 per cent in the 52-week period ending September 29th, 2018.

Adjusted operating profit was 1.6 per cent lower in the full year, slipping to £303 million (€342.5 million), but the second half saw growth of £3 million (€3.3 million).

Total revenue was down to £2.15 billion (€2.43 billion) from £2.18 million (€2.46 billion) in 2017. Operating profit was £255 million (€288 million), up from £208 million (€235 million), while profit before tax rose to £130 million (€147 million) from £77 million (€87 million) a year earlier.


"Focus on our three priority areas of building a more balanced business; instilling a more commercial culture; and driving an innovation agenda has continued to move the business forward over the financial year," said chief executive Phil Urban.


“The implementation of the second wave of initiatives from our transformation programme has resulted in sustained like-for-like sales growth, continued market out-performance and a return to profit growth in the second half despite Easter moving into the first half.”

The company said its like-for-like sales growth remained ahead of the market. Mitchells & Butlers has been hit by the effect of Brexit, with rising inflation and muted wage growth following Britain's vote to leave the European Union that caused UK consumers to rein in spending.

“We continue to work hard on driving efficiency gains and profitable sales growth through the ongoing roll out of initiatives to mitigate the cost headwinds impacting the industry,” Mr Urban said. “Overall, the company is positioned well to continue creating shareholder value in the long term.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist