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Mitchells & Butlers blames bad weather for slowdown in sales growth

Like-for-like sales rose 3.9% over the three-week festive trading period
Mitchells & Butlers
Mitchells & Butlers had record Christmas day sales

Pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) said sales growth slowed in the lead up to Christmas due to adverse weather.

In the seven weeks since late November, sales rose 1.6%, adjusted for calendar effects caused by an extra week the same period a year ago.  That compared to 2.3% growth in the previous seven weeks.

READ: Mitchells & Butlers sales up nearly 3% in the year-to-date although recent poor weather has impacted drink sales

“Over the full seven week period since our last update our sales performance has been encouraging, although impacted by the adverse weather particularly in the run up to the festive season,” the company said.

Like-for-like sales rose 3.9% over the three-week festive trading period with a record 5.4% increase on Christmas day.

In the year to date, adjusted like-for-like sales rose 2.2%. On an unadjusted basis, like-for-like sales in the year to date increased 1.1% and total sales climbed 0.5%, with an impact from disposals in the prior year.

“We are pleased to have delivered continued strong trading results over the important festive period in the face of difficult weather for many of our guests, indicating the attractiveness of our offers in a competitive market,” said chief executive Phil Urban.

The company said it made good progress in the overhaul of its estate, completing 114 conversions and remodels. It also opened two new sites and expects.

The group expect to complete around 270 remodels and conversions in the full year.

In its full year results in November, the company lowered its final dividend as it reported a drop in full year profits.

READ:Mitchells & Butlers full year profits drop on Brexit-driven inflationary cost pressures

At the time, it blamed higher costs resulting from a weaker pound and higher minimum wages. 

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