The pub, bar and restaurant operator saw like-for-like sales growth of 7.2% over the eight weeks to 25 November while in the seven weeks to 13 January 2024, sales growth was up 8.2%. For the five key festive days, trade was positive with like-for-like sales growth at 10.1%.
Elsewhere in the update, the business reported having completed 34 conversions and remodels in the year to date as well as the opening of one new Alex site in Germany.
Furthermore, it stated sales were strong in the first quarter and in spite of a 9.8% national living wage rise in April, overall cost pressures were easing.
The group remained mindful of uncertainties ahead, based on its strong performance so far, it anticipated the full year outturn would be towards the top end of expectations.
Chief executive Phil Urban said: “We are delighted by the strong trading performance over the festive season, with very strong performances across our brands portfolio thanks to the hard work of our teams.
“Growth was particularly strong on key dates with record sales for Christmas Day based on 229,000 meals served, supported by strong trading in the run up to Christmas, with the return of work parties and festive gatherings driving sales.
He added: “Our focus remains on the effective execution of our Ignite programme of initiatives and our successful capital investment programme, rising cost efficiencies and increased sales.
“With the unique strengths of our business, including a diverse portfolio of established brands and enviable estate locations, we are well positioned to continue to grow profitably and market share in the year ahead.”
In December, M&B reported like-for-like sales growth of 9.1% in the year ending 30 September 2023 compared to the previous financial year.