Pub and restaurant group Mitchells and Butlers unveiled a jump in like-for-like sales for the year to date this morning, with drinks contributing the most to growth.
The owner of 18 brands including All Bar One, Nicholson's pubs and Browns restaurants said its sales for the 51 weeks to 16 September were up 1.8 per cent.
But shares in the company fell 3.1 per cent this morning as the figures indicated a summer slowdown, and reaffirmed guidance that margins for this year will be squeezed by inflation.
Drinks sales led the way with a boost of 2.1 per cent, but in the most recent eight weeks sales were down 1.2 per cent, in line with an industry-wide sales decline in August.
"Whilst the weather in August and September has adversely affected the market we remain encouraged that our like-for-like sales performance continues to outperform the market," said chief executive Phil Urban.
Food was more consistent across the period, with sales growth averaging at 1.5 per cent.
During the year, the company disposed of 79 sites, 73 of which were sold to Aprirose. Meanwhile 13 new sites were added and 236 conversions or remodels took place.
Urban added: "We will enter the new financial year with the momentum of solid sales growth, enhanced clarity on pension contributions and a clear strategy which we believe positions the company well to deliver long term shareholder value."