Food sales drive 2% growth for Mitchells and Butlers

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Board of directors

Mitchells & Butler's like-for-like sales went up more than 2 per cent in the last year, largely due to food sales
Mitchells & Butler's like-for-like sales went up more than 2 per cent in the last year, largely due to food sales
Sales across the Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) estate went up 2.1 per cent last year, a period during which the pub and restaurant operator initiated 'significant cultural change' by focusing on streamlining the business and investing heavily in training and service. 

The operator, whose brands include Harvester, Browns and All Bar One, said about 75 per cent of the turnover was generated by sales of food with its brands in the 'middle to upper end' of spend per head across its estate responsible for driving the revenue growth. 

Total revenue went up 3.3 per cent to £1,889m for the year ending 29 September while adjusted operating profit, after investment into service, was up 1 per cent to £304m. 

Cultural change

In a year that saw the organisational structure of the business change, with brand operations directors appointed to oversee marketing and HR departments and 90 support roles lost, non-executive chairman Bob Ivell said he had been pleased with the 'resilient performance' of the company. 

"This year we have initiated a significant cultural change programme focused on streamlining internal processes and placing the guest at the heart of everything we do," he said. 

"We have restructured the way we support our operations teams, reduced our central costs and increased the accountability of our senior executives for their brands. I am extremely pleased that we have delivered a resilient financial performance, during a period of such cultural and organisational change."

While it streamlined the business, M&B also opened 47 new sites under its Harvester, Miller & Carter, Browns and Toby Carvery brands during the course of the year and converted 10 sites, almost completing its conversion programme. 

Leading the company

In a statement Ivell, who recruited Alistair Darby chief executive in September​, said he would now shift his focus to selecting 'appropriately qualified independent non-executive directors' and leave Darby to lead the company forward into 2013. 

Darby said: “I am delighted to be leading a company with great people and popular branded pubs, bars and  restaurants. M&B is well positioned to take maximum advantage of our evolving industry and we  have the right strategy in place. I look forward to continuing the business transformation to deliver long term earnings growth and shareholder returns."

Looking ahead the company said it was well-positioned to continue growth, but expected things to remain challenging and was expecting to be affected by ongoing alcohol duty increases, food price inflation and a continued squeeze on consumer spend. 

"We will maintain our focused and disciplined investment in service and amenity in our estate," it said in a statement. "Overall, we believe our strong brands and assets together with our business transformation programme leave the Company well positioned to grow further in the year ahead."

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