Poor weather, continued ‘cost headwinds’, and challenging market conditions have impacted performance for Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) according to the pub and restaurant operator’s latest results.
In the 51 weeks ended 16 September 2017, like-for-like food sales are up 1.4%, and wet sales increased to 2.1%.
The company said strong sales performance in early summer had been in contrast to more challenging conditions in recent weeks, with a period of poor weather this year up against a sunny period last year which has specifically impacted drink sales.
Total sales have increased by 2.9% in the year-to-date, however while food sales are up 1.5% in the eight weeks to 16 September, wet sales fell by 1.2%.
Chief executive Phil Urban said: ‘Whilst the weather in August and September has adversely affected the market we remain encouraged that our like-for-like sales performance continues to outperform the market.
‘This performance reflects the progress we have made towards our strategic priorities. We continue to work hard to mitigate the cost headwinds faced by the industry and expect to deliver a full year performance in line with the Board’s expectations.
‘We will enter the new financial year with the momentum of solid sales growth, enhanced clarity on pension contributions and a clear strategy which we believe positions the company well to deliver long term shareholder value.’
The company disposed of 79 sites, totalling £46m, during the year which ‘did not fit into our long-term estate plan’, including 73 which were sold as a package in July.
It has opened 13 new sites and completed 236 conversions and remodels in the financial year to date.