Robust sales in its suburban pubs have boosted Mitchells & Butlers, with a strong perfomance by its food-led brands.
The managed pub group has reported a total increase in like-for-like sales of 6 per cent across the 19 weeks to September 18, with residential pubs up 7 per cent compared to a 3.9 per cent increase on the high street.
The company has sounded a slightly cautious note on future trading in the face of "regulatory uncertainty over smoking and strong price competition in the high street", but believes it is well placed to deal with the issues.
M&B said it had seen a particularly strong performance in its pub restaurant brands Harvester, Toby and Vintage Inns. The group, which also operates brands including Ember Inns, Sizzling Pubs, All Bar One and Scream, said it expects overall trading for the year to September 30 to be at the high end of expectations. While 70 per cent of the estate is in residential areas, M&B said its high street businesses also continue to perform well despite town centre competition.
Overall, in the year to September 18, average sales per managed pub have risen by 8 per cent to £15,200 per week, over three times the industry average, "driven by the success of our sales strategy and the actions we have been taking to develop further the quality of the estate".
M&B said its pubs are are "capturing a disproportionate share" of the market through a focus on the informal, value for money, eating and drinking-out market.
To deal with the general uncertainty in the trade over smoking and town centre competition, "we will continue to build on the success achieved this year. "The board is confident in its strategy of delivering better choice and value to customers, in order to drive volume growth and generate the associated purchasing and productivity improvements."