PUBS group Mitchells & Butlers has seen a surge in half-year profits.
The owner of the All Bar One and O'Neill's pub chains said pre-tax profits for the six months to 10 April were £73m, up from £47m the year before.
Profits were fuelled by increased food sales and improved profit margins.
Like-for-like sales for the 33 weeks to 15 May showed total sales up 1.8 per cent with food sales 4.3 per cent higher, at the group which also owns the Harvester chain.
Chief executive Adam Fow said: "The business continues to trade well, and we are pleased with the progress made in the first half."