All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers returns to profit growth

All Bar One and Harvester owner Mitchells & Butlers returned to profit growth in the first half, as the company said its sales had outperformed competitors.

Adjusted operating profit rose to £151 million in the 28 weeks to April 13, up from £141 million in the same period last year.

Revenue was higher at £1.19 billion, while like-for-like sales climbed 4.1%.

The group, which also owns the O’Neill’s pub chain and Toby Carvery among other brands, said its focus on efficiency was responsible for the improved performance.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: “Success in this highly competitive market is dependent on a continuous stream of improvements, and that is what we are delivering, with many small advances at site level driving significant benefits in aggregate.

“We will maintain our focus on these initiatives, which we believe are transforming the business.”

Like-for-like sales were up 4.1% during the period, higher than the average 1% sales growth recorded across the drinking and eating out sector, according to the Coffer Peach business tracker.

Shares were up 2.9% on Thursday morning.

Updating on recent trading, the group said like-for-like sales were up 3.8% in the last 33 weeks.

The company said current trading remains tough amid economic and political uncertainty, but that it is confident of its ability to outperform the market.

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