M&B shares fall after profit drop

Pub and restaurant giant Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) shares fell more than 4.9 per cent as they reported a drop in half-year profits.

Pre-tax profit for the 28 weeks to 9 April was at £43m, compared with £72m in 2010.

Revenue was down by almost nine per cent to £946m, compared with last year.

The Harvester and All Bar One owner confirmed that this is the first time food sales have overtaken drink sales.

“Food is now our largest single product with nearly three quarters of our sales deriving from meals,” said Jeremy Blood, interim chief executive.

“We have successfully positioned M&B more firmly within the eating-out market with nearly three quarters of our revenue now generated around eating-out,” he added.

The rise in food and energy costs will be a challenge and put pressures on the business, M&B said.