Mitchells & Butlers reports profit drop

<p>Pub and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers has reported a 13.4 per cent fall in pre-tax profit.</p>

Pub and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has reported a drop in pre-tax profits for the year to the end of September.

The company, which owns brands such as All Bar One, O'Neill's, Nicholson's and Harvester, saw pre-tax profit hit £123 million over the past, a 13.4 per cent decrease. This fall came despite overall sales growing by four per cent. M&B's total revenue grew to £1.9 billion and it stated that its food volume performance had strengthened during the year.

Announcing its full-year trading results, M&B noted that one of its main expenditures was setting up new businesses and upgrading older outlets. The company spent £162 million renovating or opening new sites over the past 12 months, almost double the £88 million paid out over the same period last year.

Food is set to be the company's main focus for the coming year. It had seen like-for-like food volume growth boosted by 0.9 per cent. Officials explained that food accounts for three quarters of the company's sales and it was planning to roll out all-day trading, which would include the offer of breakfast alongside lunch and dinner.

Rival JD Wetherspoon is already capitalising on the early morning market with the majority of Wetherspoon outlets opening at either 07:00 GMT or 08:00 GMT. It is an area that M&B has highlighted as a "significant opportunity" for its future trading.

Alistair Darby, M&B chief executive, said: "In the last year we have made significant progress, investing in the business for future growth. We completed the acquisition of Orchid, accelerated remodel and expansionary capex and have made a substantial investment in our systems.

"At the same time we have maintained our focus on the delivery of our four key priorities. In the year ahead, we will continue these actions."

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