M&B delighted with results, despite profit drop

M&B is delighted with the continued strength of its trading performance.

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has said that it is delighted with the continued strength of its trading performance, as the owner of All Bar One, Vintage Inns and Nicholson's revealed its financial results for the 53 weeks ended 30 September 2023.

The business, led by CEO Phil Urban, saw a like-for-like sales growth for the period of 9.1% against FY 2022, with what it says is a record outperformance against the market.

While its operating profit dropped by £26m to £98m, M&B highlights that taking into the consideration of last year's government support of £52m in the form of reduced VAT and grants, its operating profit increased by 17.6% for this current year. Total revenue for FY 2023 was £2.503bn (FY 2022 £2.208bn).

"We are delighted by the continued strength of our trading performance, and resilience in the face of unprecedented cost headwinds," says Urban. "We have achieved good growth in underlying profit, excluding government support, with like-for-like sales growth across all of our brands, and record outperformance against the market.

"While we remain mindful of the pressures that the UK consumer is facing, the strength of our sales growth alongside an abating cost environment gives us confidence for the financial year ahead. We will remain focused on our strategic priorities delivered through our Ignite and capital programmes, which combined with our diverse portfolio of well-known brands, strong estate locations and talented people, leave us well positioned to rebuild margins back towards pre-pandemic levels."

M&B says that cost headwinds presented a significant challenge in FY 2023, but it is now seeing clear evidence that these are starting to abate. Despite the National Living Wage increasing by 9.8% from April next year, it says a reduction in energy prices and slowing food inflation, in particular, mean that anticipated overall cost headwinds for the year ahead are expected to reduce to c.£65m. This, M&B says, should allow it to start to rebuild margins back towards pre-pandemic levels.

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