Mitchells & Butlers reports ‘volatile' sales since reopening

29 July 2021 by
Mitchells & Butlers reports ‘volatile' sales since reopening

Mitchells & Butlers has reported "volatile" sales since reopening on 17 May, with city centre sites "the most challenged".

The operator of managed restaurants and pubs, including Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Miller & Carter and O'Neill's, said that in the first five weeks of reopening, like-for-like sales were at 98% of pre-Covid levels, in part due to pent-up consumer demand.

Across the following five weeks activity was slower, with like-for-like sales at 89% of pre-Covid levels, although there had been some sign of improvement following the further easing of restrictions on 19 July. Aside from the impact of selected games during the Euros, sales had generally been stronger in suburban and food-led brands.

Total sales for the year to date, including 18 weeks of enforced closure, were at 35% of pre-Covid levels.

As of 24 July the group had cash balances on hand of £203m, with undrawn unsecured facilities of £150m, and £39m was drawn on its liquidity facility within the securitisation.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: "The continuing uncertainty relating to the pandemic still makes forward guidance difficult, and is likely to do so at least until into the autumn. However, with our diversified portfolio of well-known brands and largely freehold estate, and our continued focus on efficiency though our Ignite programme, supported by a strengthened balance sheet, we are in a strong position coming out of the pandemic as restrictions ease further."

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