M&B reports its biggest week of sales over Xmas

Oliver Smith
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CHRISTMAS saw pub group Mitchells & Butlers enjoy its biggest ever sales week, boosting the group’s trading for the year to date.

The company, whose outlets include Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One, yesterday said sales at pubs open over a year or more were up two per cent on a year ago for the 17 weeks to 25 January which included a 2.6 per cent sales rise over the three-week festive period to 4 January.

The firm, which generates around three quarters of its turnover from guests eating in its 1,600 restaurants and pubs, said food volumes had risen 1.3 per cent over the festive period, with 193,000 meals sold on Christmas day itself.

“We are reducing staff turnover, modernising our systems, increasing guest satisfaction and delivering against our transformation plan to create sustainable value for shareholders,” said chief executive Alistair Darby.

British pubs operator and brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner, which has almost 400 mainly London and south-east based pubs, also reported a rise in sales over Christmas yesterday.

“There’s a sense of optimism around London and in the city that we saw reflected in how people behaved over Christmas,” Fuller chief executive Simon Emeny told City AM.

The London Pride brewer said like-for-like sales at managed pubs and hotels, which make up over half of group revenue, were up 7.7 per cent in the 43 weeks to 25 January, its fiscal third quarter, and by 7.2 per cent in the last 10 weeks.