Like-for-like sales of food were up 5.5% in the company’s Q3 update while drinks down by 4.9% in comparisons made on a three-year basis, to the same period in FY2019, the last full financial year before Covid-19.
Like-for-like sales started the third quarter strongly, up 2.2% for the first five weeks before falling back slightly across a period including the Jubilee weekend, industrial action and the recent very hot weather, to end up 0.9% across the full quarter.
Covid and disposals
Total sales have declined by 1.6% in the year-to-date driven mainly by temporary Covid-related closures in the first part of the year and site disposals since FY2019.
M&B said inflationary cost pressures continue to present a major challenge to its business and while the near-term outlook is unchanged it now seems likely that, particularly in the case of utilities, wages and food costs, these will persist at or above current levels well into the next financial year, increasing and prolonging the medium-term impact on margins.
The business added its ‘Ignite’ programme of work remains at the core of its long-term value creation plans as it continues to focus on initiatives that enhance efficiency and productivity, helping to offset these inflationary cost pressures.
M&B has completed 116 conversions and remodels in the current financial year to date.
Chief executive Phil Urban said: “The trading environment remains very challenging with inflationary costs squeezing consumer discretionary spending and putting pressure on the industry’s margins.
“In the face of these challenges, we remain focused on driving sales and efficiency through our Ignite programme and pushing forward with our capital investment plan, which we are pleased to see delivering strong sales uplifts.”