M&B rings in new year with festive sales boost

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

Raise a glass: the pub group has a lot to celebrate as like-for-like sales rose over Christmas
Raise a glass: the pub group has a lot to celebrate as like-for-like sales rose over Christmas

Related tags: Mitchells & butlers, Sales

Trade at Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) pub sites soared during the three-week festive period, with like-for-like value sales growing 5.6%.

Meanwhile, in the seven-week period to 4 January, M&B achieved 3.5% like-for-like value sales growth. Food sales were 4% higher, and drink rose by 2.7%.

When looking at back at the seven weeks to November 16, however, Mitchells & Butlers’ overall like-for-like sales only grew by 1.7% with drink sales up 0.7%.

But M&B has seen rises throughout the the full year to date with total sales increasing by 2.7%.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: "We are pleased with our trading performance over the festive trading season against a strong set of results last year, again demonstrating the breadth of appeal of our brands for special occasions.”

Impressive growth

Urban continued: “We achieved record sales levels across the five key festive days at growth of 6.5%. This continued progress reflects the output of our Ignite initiatives that will continue to be our focus for the year ahead.”

Mitchells & Butlers, which is based in Birmingham, owns pub and restaurant chains such as O’Neill’s, Harvester, and Toby Carvery.

In the year to date, M&B has already completed 81 conversions and remodels, and opened one new site with the aim to continue improving amenity and premiumisation sites where possible.

M&B’s first quarter trading update report read: “We remain encouraged by the returns being generated.”

Paul Ruddy, equity analyst at Goodbody – a specialist investment banking, wealth management and asset management firm – said: “We are encouraged by Mitchells & Butlers Q1 trading update that demonstrates impressive growth on growth.”

Sunny skies ahead

He continued: “Like-for-like sales growth for the first 14 weeks of the year to 4 January is up 2.6% with food up by 3% and drink by 1.8%. Trading over the key Christmas period was up more than 5%, which is a good result given growth rates in excess of 12% last year.

“The results are proof that management continues to perform very well operationally. A myriad of incremental initiatives and high levels of investment in its estate are combining to deliver consistent sales growth.

“The company is the first of the bigger players to report on the festive period and the update showing more than 5% growth will be encouraging to the sector at large.

“The clouds that hung over October and November due to wider macroeconomic challenges seem to have cleared with consumers willing to go out and spend in December – hinting that sunnier skies could lie ahead.”

Related topics: Mitchells & Butlers

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