Mitchells & Butlers has reported stronger sales since August but still anticipates lower margins due to cost headwinds.
In its pre-close trading update covering the 51 weeks ended 22 September 2018, the restaurant, pub and bar operator said in the eight weeks to 22 September like-for-like sales growth was 0.8% and 1.2% in the year to date.
The period also saw a more normalised split between drink and food sales following a period of very strong drink growth over the summer.
Total sales have increased by 0.5% in the year to date impacted by the disposals in the prior year.
However, the group added: "Cost headwinds remain largely unchanged and, as previously advised, are expected to lead to margins being lower than last year."
Chief executive Phil Urban said: "We are pleased to have seen like-for-like sales growth improve to 2.2% following the period of sustained hot weather and the World Cup over the summer. We are building momentum as a result of our focus on our strategic priorities and are seeing encouraging results from the second wave of transformation activity.
"Work continues to mitigate the cost headwinds impacting the industry and we remain confident of delivering full year results in line with the board's expectations."