Darby said he was encouraged by the performance of Toby Carvery, Harvester, All Bar One and Miller & Carter, with Toby and Miller & Carter
in particular “performing very strongly”.
Of the 10 sites the group opened during the period, four were sites acquired from Convivial London Pubs, two were Miller & Carters, one was an All Bar One in Euston, two a Toby and a Harvester near Ipswich and one a Toby in the north east.
Darby said: “There is more to do, but I am pleased with the progress we are making with these core brands. Toby is going like a train.”
However, leading analyst Geof Collyer of Deutsche Bank said a “Herculean effort” was still required to turn around the estate’s bottom quartile.
Last week M&B reported a 2% rise in like-for-like sales in the 17 weeks to 25 January, helped by a 2.6% rise in sales across the three-weeks to 4 January and milder weather.
Like-for-like food volumes during the three weeks climbed 1.3%, with the group selling 6.9m meals.
Christmas Day like-for-likes grew 7.5%, with 193,000 meals sold. The festive period included its biggest ever sales week.