Mitchells & Butlers said this morning that it is “building momentum” in the business after reporting strong interim figures that demonstrated both sales and profit growth.
Like-for-like sales increased 4% to £1.18 billion in the six months to 18 April 2019, while operating profit rose £3m to £140m year-on-year. The pub and restaurant chain booked pre-tax profits of £69m.
Mother’s Day was a record-breaker – the third highest taking day for M&B ever, one of which was Christmas this year.
Two new sites opened during the period, with 206 conversions completed, costing the company £90m.
Chief executive, Phil Urban, said: “This is a strong set of results, demonstrating that we continue to build momentum in the business, delivering sales growth, sustained market outperformance and a return to operating profit growth all while reducing leverage to below four times.
“This strong performance comes from the progress we continue to make in our three priority areas: building a more balanced business; instilling a more commercial culture; and driving an innovation agenda.”
Mitchells & Butlers manages a wide portfolio of brands and formats including Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Miller & Carter, Premium Country Pubs, Sizzling Pubs, Stonehouse, Vintage Inns, Browns, Castle, Nicholson’s, O’Neill’s and Ember Inns.
The chain said it is benefitting from sales-focused initiatives that have improved performance across the portfolio, while operating margins have been boosted by efficiencies achieved within the business.
Mr Urban added: “Success in this highly competitive market is dependent on a continuous stream of improvements, and that is what we are delivering with many small advances at site level driving significant benefits in aggregate. We will maintain our focus on these initiatives which we believe are transforming the business.”