Weather hits pub chain sales

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - BUSINESS -

The owner of Toby Carvery, Har­vester and Vin­tage Inns has re­ported strong fes­tive trad­ing.

How­ever, in an up­date to the mar­kets, Mitchells & But­lers pointed to a wider slow­down linked to bad weather.

The pub group, which op­er­ates prop­er­ties in Tay­side and Fife, said like­for-like sales grew 3.9% in the vi­tal three-week trad­ing pe­riod to Jan­uary 6.

Christ­mas Day saw record tak­ings, with like-for-like sales growth of 5.4% and 225,000 meals sold.

But in the seven weeks lead­ing up to De­cem­ber, com­pa­ra­ble sales came in at 1.6% as Mitchells & But­lers was im­pacted by ad­verse weather.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Ur­ban said: “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.”

In Novem­ber, Mitchells & But­lers saw its shares plunge af­ter warn­ing it could scrap its next share­holder div­i­dend pay­out on the back of lower profit.

It also said it faced fur­ther risks amid Brexit un­cer­tainty.

Pic­ture: Gareth Jen­nings.

The Fair Maid at Perth is run by Mitchells & But­lers Stone­house Pizza & Carvery brand.

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