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Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has this morning reported a 1% drop in like-for-like sale in the 17 weeks to 23 January 2016, with food sales down 1.5% and drink sales down 0.6%.
The company said that trading over the festive period was encouraging, with like-for-like sales up 2% in the two weeks of Christmas and New Year.
In the nine weeks to 23 January, like-for-like sales were down 0.6% in total, with food sales down 1% and drink sales flat. This compared to a 1.6% decline in total like-for-like sales of 1.6% in the eight weeks to 21 November 2015, which comprised a 2.1% fall in like-for-like food sales and a 1.2% drop in drink sales.
Over the financial year to date total sales declined by 0.8% but the company said that operating margins were ahead of the prior year.
The company has acquired two new sites and converted 12 in the financial year to date, including a further 10 Orchid conversions. It said it had also accelerated its remodel programme to “revitalise and reposition” its estate, with 76 completed so far this year.
Phil Urban, chief executive, said: “We had a good Christmas, recording growth across the period and also delivering our best ever trading day. Whilst trading conditions remain tough, particularly as we go into the post-holiday season, we are acting with pace to drive our business priorities - building a more balanced business, developing our commercial culture and increasing the speed of execution and innovation.”
Fuller’s has reported like-for-like sales up 5.3% in its managed estate for the 43 weeks to 23 January.
Like-for-like profits in the tenanted division rose by 3% in the same period.
Total beer and cider volumes in the Fuller’s Beer Company decreased by 1%.
Chief executive Simon Emeny said: “I am pleased to be reporting further strong trading. A good performance throughout the year has been boosted by another successful Christmas.
“Our long term strategy of providing freshly-cooked food, engaging service and an excellent portfolio of premium brands, supported by investment in our pubs to create stylish environments for our customers, continues to deliver consistently good results.
“I believe we are in a good position as we progress through the last quarter and I look forward to updating the market on 10 June 2016, when we announce the company’s preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 26 March.”