Pub group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has reported a strong Christmas performance with like-for-like sales over the three week festive period up by 9.8%.
In a trading statement for the 14 weeks to 5 January 2019, the company said that like-for-like food and drink sales had increased by 4.6% and 4.8% respectively.
Phil Urban, chief executive of M&B, said he was delighted with the group's performance which include £12m sales on Christmas Day.
"The weather was milder than last year but the results were also due to the months of planning put in by our teams, and to several of our Ignite initiatives beginning to bear fruit.
"We now enter our toughest quarter and, given the success of the festive trading period, we would expect trade to be quiet at least until people get paid again. The ongoing uncertainty around Brexit will continue so we remain cautious about the outlook until the political and macroeconomic landscape becomes clearer. That said, we have made a good start to the year."
M&B's portfolio of more than 1,750 pubs include the Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Miller & Carter and O'Neill's brands.