Mitchells & Butlers hails marketing as food sales jump

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), owner of the Toby Carvery and Harvester pub restaurant brands, says that “effective” marketing will help it through the “uncertain” economic environment next year.

Toby Carvery campaign
Toby Carvery campaign

The company, which also owns the All Bar One chain, has reported revenue increased 1.1% to £1.98bn in the year to 25 September, helping push pre-tax profit up 26.1% to £169m.

The company claims its decision to switch to a food-led brand, which has seen it commit to expanding its restaurant chains and the sale of some of its pub assets, helped drive performance.

Like for like food sales increased 4.7% in the period, while drink sales grew 1.4%.

Adam Fowle, chief executive of M&B, says that the bump in food sales represents “excellent progress….against our strategic goal to turn M&B into a food-led business by concentrating our industry leading brands on the informal eating-out market”.

M&B announced in March that it intended to “rapidly reshape” its business and move away from the “price-sensitive drinks-led business” model of old.

It has since launched campaigns to push core brands Harvester, Toby Carvery and Ember Inns.

In a statement accompanying the results, the company says: “The outlook for consumer spending remains uncertain in light of government spending cuts and the VAT increase in January.

“However, the strength of M&B brands, the effectiveness of its marketing platform, its operational capabilities and strong capex returns underpin the Board’s confidence in the company’s prospects.”

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