Pub and restaurant giant Mitchell & Butler’s total maintenance and infrastructure CAPEX bill hit £53m this year, its annual accounts show.
The figure, which is for the 12 months to the end of September 2017, is £28m less than the £81m it spent the year before due to increased remodel and conversion activity supported by initiatives to improve the cost efficiency of maintenance work.
During the year it completed 252 remodels and conversions and opened 13 new sites, with investment of return-generating capital increasing by £30m.
Acquisitions were primarily focused on premiumisation with the opening of six new Miller & Carter steakhouse sites, including one purpose-built restaurant, and five new All Bar Ones.
Similarly, the higher proportion of Miller & Carter conversions resulted in the average spend per project increasing, a reflection of the premiumisation strategy.
Over the past year, M&B has increased the number of Miller & Carter sites from 52 to 84, with 26 of the additional sites facilitated through conversions of existing sites. It anticipates reaching 100 sites at the beginning of the next calendar year.
Conversions are delivering average EBITDA returns of more than 40%, and the company continues to explore various new types of locations for the brand.
It is also working on enhancing the amenity of other formats through its remodel programme, including its Harvester brand.
The farmhouse-style brand has undergone a fresh and contemporary design, while in the kitchen rotisserie chicken has been brought to the fore, leading to sales uplifts of 10% following investment.
M&B’s total capital expenditure, including acquisitions, equated to £169m for its 2017 financial year. Going forward that figure is expected to increase to around £180m a year.