Mitchells & Butlers to reshape estate as sales slide

Pub carvery

Mitchells & Butlers said this morning that it will “reshape” its estate and focus on organic growth rather than acquisition as it looks to turn around a dip in its fortunes.

Total revenue of £1.09 billion for the 28 weeks to 9 April was down 1.5% on last year as it bemoaned difficult trading conditions, although it still posted pre-tax profits of £83m versus £75m last year.

Phil Urban, the new chief executive of M&B, said that the company would seek to build on its strong earnings growth and focus on driving profitable sales.

“In the first half we increased our adjusted earnings by 9%. However, in order to accelerate the trading performance of the group there is much to do in our three priority areas: building a more balanced business; instilling a more commercial culture; and increasing the pace of execution and innovation.”

He said that a review of the company’s strategic options has now been completed and M&B remains focused on accelerating organic growth. A clear operational plan is in place and already under way.

“I am very clear that our best route for delivering sustainable returns for our shareholders is through the acceleration of organic growth: to maximise the return on the high-quality assets we own. Our plan, to reshape the estate and innovate in both existing and new offers for our guests, is now well under way and I have every confidence in its success.”

Mitchells & Butlers brands and formats include Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Miller & Carter, Premium Country Pubs, Sizzling Pubs, Crown Carveries, Vintage Inns, Browns, Castle, Nicholson’s, O’Neill’s and Ember Inns.

In addition, it operates Innkeeper’s Lodge hotels in the UK and Alex restaurants and bars in Germany.

The group claims to serve around 140 million meals and 430 million drinks each year and is one of the largest operators within the UK’s £80 billion eating and drinking out market.

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