All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers sales slip after Eat Out to Help Out boost
Pub chain Mitchells & Butlers today reported a drop in sales in September after enjoying a boost from the government’s discount meals scheme.
The All Bar One owner posted a 1.4 per cent rise in like for like sales in August thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and a temporary reduction in VAT.
But sales slipped back to a 6.4 per cent decline in the first three weeks of September after the subsidy programme ended and fresh coronavirus restrictions were introduced.
Shares in Mitchells & Butlers slipped 1.6 per cent following the trading update.
The pub group, which also owns brands including Nicholson’s, O’Neills and Harvester, has now been trading for 11 weeks since pubs reopened, and 95 per cent of its sites are now back in action.
Mitchells & Butlers were forced to shutter its boozers in March following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Like-for-like sales then slumped 32.4 per cent in July due to a decline in footfall and reduced capacity due to social distancing measures.
The company warned of continuing uncertainty after the government tightened coronavirus restrictions, but said it was well-placed to meet the challenges.
“The future remains both challenging and uncertain, with only this week a curfew and other additional restrictions being imposed on how and when we can operate,” said chief executive Phil Urban.
“However, we believe we are well placed to meet that challenge and to keep Mitchells & Butlers at the forefront of the eating and drinking-out market.”