M&B suffers £200m loss as pandemic restrictions bite

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Covid impact: 'With the support of our main stakeholders, we are now well placed to emerge in a strong competitive position and look forward to the removal of remaining trading restrictions,' M&B's Phil Urban explained
Covid impact: 'With the support of our main stakeholders, we are now well placed to emerge in a strong competitive position and look forward to the removal of remaining trading restrictions,' M&B's Phil Urban explained

Related tags: Mitchells & butlers, All bar one, Toby carvery, Finance, Pubco + head office, Sales, Coronavirus

Despite takings tumbling by 79% during the six months to 10 April, the CEO of the firm behind Toby Carvery and All Bar One believes it can emerge from pandemic restrictions in a ‘strong competitive position’.

In its most recent half year results statement, the Birmingham-based operator of more than 1,700 venues revealed that revenue plummeted to just £219m from £1.04bn during the first half of the previous financial year.

What’s more, in the same 28-week stint, Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) posted a £200m loss before tax – versus a £121m loss in the equivalent period one year prior.

The Group – whose sites traded for just 14 weeks during the first half of its current financial year under pandemic restrictions – also revealed that it successfully raised £351m​ during the pandemic, and refinanced debt arrangements.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​, The Birmingham-based FTSE 250 group issued 167m new shares at 210p per share, with shareholder groups Piedmont, Elpida Group and Smoothfield Holding consolidating their holdings under the Odyzean Group – which will hold approximately 55% of the company’s issued share capital.

M&B was also among the pub sector’s most prolific users of the furlough scheme in December 2020 according to Government figures – which revealed that, alongside JD Wetherspoon, M&B claimed between £25,000,001 to £50,000,000​. 

Stakeholder support 

In its results for the 52 weeks ended 26 September 2020, M&B also revealed a £300m swing from pre-tax profit to loss​ – a period in which it was forced to axe 1,300 staff members. 

Reflecting on the impact of the pandemic on the firm, chief executive Phil Urban described M&B as a “high performing business” before its Covid symptoms took hold. 

“With the support of our main stakeholders, we are now well placed to emerge in a strong competitive position and look forward to the removal of remaining trading restrictions in June such that the business is able to return again to full and sustainable profitability,” he explained.

“With our great estate, well diversified portfolio of brands and proven management team, we look forward to welcoming back our guests for great experiences in Covid-19 secure environments and focusing the business once again on continually enhancing our customer proposition while driving efficiencies through the Ignite programme."

According to the Group’s latest figures, M&B’s net debt fell from £2.16bn in the first half of the previous financial year to £2.14bn during its most recent 28-week results period.

Related topics: Mitchells & Butlers

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