Restaurant business Mitchells & Butlers, which operates brands including All Bar One, Vintage Inns and O'Neill's, has seen like-for-like sales rise 1.8% in the past eight weeks, as it received a boost from the warm summer weather.
In a pre-close trading update issued today, the company revealed that total sales in the first 51 weeks of its financial year, to 10 April 2016, were down 0.8%. Within that, food was down 1.4% while drink was down 0.1%.
However, trading after that period appears to have been more positive. Phil Urban, chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers said: "We are encouraged by our improved trading performance in recent months. Weather in recent weeks has certainly been helpful to sales, but in addition we are starting to benefit from increased investment activity, instilling a commercial culture and a faster pace of execution and innovation in our business.
"We enter the new financial year facing an increasing number of cost headwinds, most notably labour. However, based on recent progress, we remain committed to our strategy going forward."
The company said it expected margins for the full year to be below last year, particularly as a result of acceleration of investment in its estate and wage inflation following the introduction of the National Living Wage.
Mitchells & Butlers sees sales slide after wet June >>