Express & Star

Mitchells & Butlers reports growth as cost pressures ease

All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers has said full-year results will be at the top end of forecasts as cost pressures ease and pub goer demand ramps up.

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The group posted a 9.7% rise in like-for-like sales in its fourth quarter to September 23, with growth of 9.1% over the full year.

The business, which includes Miller & Carter and Harvester, said cost pressures were “abating” for the firm.

“We remain mindful of the challenging macroeconomic environment and pressures on the consumer however, as trading continues to be strong, we have confidence that the current year outturn will be at the top end of consensus expectations, with momentum into full-year 2024,” it added.

Phil Urban, Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted to have continued our strong like-for-like sales performance through the fourth quarter, underpinned by volume growth and reflecting increasing out-performance against the market.

"Going forward we shall remain focused on executing the drivers of this strong performance, our Ignite programme of growth and efficiency initiatives and our capital investment programme which, combined with our diverse portfolio of established brands and enviable estate locations, leaves us well positioned to continue to outperform the sector and see improved profitability."

The group added that sales growth also reflects rising sales by volume, not just value.

M&B said in the summer it was seeing early signs that costs were easing, revealing at the time it expected inflation to be at the lower end of the 10% to 12% range previously guided for, before cost savings. It stood by that inflation guidance in its latest update.

Derren Nathan, head of equity research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Pub giant Mitchells & Butlers has been making hay while the sun shines, and through some rain too.

“The out-performance against the rest of the market is impressive, particularly in a time when customers’ pockets are facing an unprecedented squeeze.

“Alongside the cheery update on sales, the news that cost pressures are starting to abate should also bring some comfort to investors.”

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