<strong>JAMES DAWSON </strong>CHARLES STANLEY SECURITIES<br />&ldquo;M&amp;B has echoed the positive news from most of the other players in the market &ndash; Capital, Young&rsquo;s and Fullers &ndash; and its result has reinforced this confidence. But the consumer market is quite fickle and until they are sure about the state of their personal wealth then drinkers will still look for the cheapest deal. But I think the first half of the year will be robust for M&amp;B.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>SIMON FRENCH </strong>PANMURE GORDON<br />&ldquo;We anticipated like-for-like sales growth of two per cent&nbsp; but the group exceeded our expectations with LFL sales growth of 3.2 per cent. This is partly being driven by M&amp;B taking pricing on its new winter food menus in its residential estate ahead of the VAT reversion but also by machines returning to LFL sales growth and the late night business trending broadly flat.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>MARK BRUMBY </strong>ASTAIRE<br />&ldquo;M&amp;B is an excellent operator and is outperforming the market but the trading outlook, particularly in the group&rsquo;s second half, remains uncertain. However, the pub is not dead and M&amp;B is a winner. London pub operators are reporting robust trading, despite an 8.4 per cent drop in beer volumes, due to food sales and the struggles of other pub tenants.&rdquo;