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Tue 22nd Sep 2015 - Phil Urban to replace Alistair Darby as M&B chief executive
Phil Urban to replace Alistair Darby as M&B chief executive: Phil Urban will become the new chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers on 27 September. He joined Mitchells & Butlers in January 2015 as Chief Operating Officer, and was previously Managing Director at Grosvenor Casinos, a division of Rank Group and Chairman of the National Casino Forum. Prior to that, he was Managing Director for Whitbread’s Pub Restaurant division, and for Scottish and Newcastle Retail’s Restaurants and Accommodation Division. He has an MBA and is a qualified management accountant (CIMA). As a consequence, Alistair Darby will step down as chief executive on 26 September 2015, and will retire from the Board and leave the Company on that date. Bob Ivell, non-executive chairman said: “The non-executive directors have considered the issue of the leadership of M&B very carefully and are delighted to announce Phil’s appointment. Phil is a strong leader with industry experience and a proven track record of operational delivery, who we are confident will build on the progress made under Alistair. The Board recognises the significant contribution made by Alistair as chief executive over the past three years, is grateful to him for bringing the business to a stronger position and wishes him well in the future.” Phil Urban said: “I am delighted to become chief executive. Having worked in the business since the start of the year I have seen at first hand the exciting potential of the people, brands and estate of M&B and look forward to leading the business to further growth whilst meeting the challenges ahead.” Total sales growth for the first 50 weeks of the year was 7.0%, with like-for-like sales growth of 1.0%. The company said: “The UK eating and drinking out market has been subdued in the summer leading to a slight slowdown in the rate of sales growth, exacerbated by the wet weather. Despite this slow market seen in the past weeks, we are continuing our plans to reposition and enhance the business, focusing on offering quality guest experiences at great value, and remain confident in our ability to meet the challenges of high consumer expectations and forthcoming cost pressures. So far this financial year we have opened 14 new sites and converted 48 sites. This includes 38 conversions of Orchid sites to core M&B brands – notably Toby Carvery, Ember Inns, Miller & Carter and Harvester - returns from which have been strong. This programme will continue into next year with a further 40 conversions and the remainder of the sites being integrated into the Heartland estate. We expect results for the year to 26 September 2015 to show growth on last year although, on the basis of this recent trading, to be at the bottom end of the range of current market expectations.”

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