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Mitchells & Butlers reports volatile, 'strengthened' trading

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 23 Sep 2021

Mitchells & Butlers reports volatile, 'strengthened' trading

(Sharecast News) - Mitchells & Butlers reported volatile, but "generally strengthened" trading in the 18 weeks since most of its pubs reopened, particularly since restrictions in England were eased on 19 July.
The FTSE 250 company said that, since full indoor trading reopened on 17 May, like-for-like sales had been 97% of pre-Covid-19 levels, following an improvement over the most recent eight weeks to 104%.

Trading was continuing to be stronger in suburban and food-led brands, particularly at the more premium end of the market.

Total sales year to date, including 18 weeks of enforced closures, were at 45% of pre-pandemic levels, the board said.

As at 18 September, the group had cash balances on hand of £197m, with undrawn unsecured facilities of £150m.

The firm said its liquidity facility was now fully repaid within the securitisation.

"We are encouraged by the improvement in sales performance following the easing of restrictions," said chief executive officer Phil Urban.

"However, we are still seeing volatility and a contrast between sales performance at food led and wet led brands, highlighting the continuing uncertainty."

Urban said the company's diverse estate, balanced across a range of offerings, put it in a strong position coming out of the pandemic.

"We are looking forward to the new financial year, with a renewed focus on our capital plan and generating both sales and efficiencies through our Ignite improvement programme."

At 0830 BST, shares in Mitchells & Butlers were up 1.29% at 266.2p.

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