The managed operator of pubs and restaurants including All Bar One, Nicholson’s, O’Neill’s, Harvester and Toby Carvery, also recorded total sales growth of 10.5% after the third quarter of the company’s financial year (FY23) ending 22 July 2023.
In the year to date, its food sales are 7.9% up and drink is 10.7% up versus the same 43-week period of FY22.
Like-for-like sales in the third quarter alone increased by 9.7% with the highlight being a record-breaking Father’s Day in June while sales performance across the quarter were “relatively consistent” outside of weeks impacted by industrial action on national transport systems.
Against FY19, year-to-date like-for-like sales are up 10%, with growth driven by spend-per-head.
Four new sites opened
M&B said: “We continue to focus on investment in the estate and, in the year to date, we have completed 116 conversions and remodels, and opened four new sites.
“In June 2023, we completed the acquisition of the remaining 60% in 3Sixty Restaurants Limited, owners of Ego Restaurants. Ego is a collection of Mediterranean-inspired pubs and restaurants where guests can enjoy freshly cooked food, cocktails, cask ales and wine from across the Continent. It currently has 26 sites, including 16 that are leased from Mitchells & Butlers.”
The business has refinanced its unsecured debt facilities, which were due to expire in February 2024. The new revolving credit facility has been increased to £200m and has been extended to July 2026.
On the future, M&B said: “There are indications cost inflation is now starting to abate such that the current year cost headwind should be at the bottom end of the 10% to 12% range previously identified.”
The business continued: “We are working hard to mitigate these pressures as far as we are able, both through driving sales growth and implementing efficiencies, which should allow margins to start to rebuild towards pre-Covid levels from next year.”
M&B chief executive Phil Urban said: “We are very pleased to report continued strong like-for-like sales growth through the quarter based on outperformance against the market and underpinned by volume growth in both food and drink.
“We remain focused on our Ignite programme of initiatives and our successful capital investment programme, driving cost efficiencies and increased sales.
“Combined with our diverse portfolio of established brands, value proposition and enviable estate locations, we believe this leaves us well positioned to continue to outperform the sector and deliver a strong full year performance.”