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Thu 22nd Sep 2016 - M&B like-for-likes turn positive in most recent eight weeks
M&B like-for-likes turn positive in most recent eight weeks: Mitchells & Butlers has reported like-for-like sales increased by 1.8% in the most recent eight weeks, representing a continuation of the improved trend both over time and relative to the total eating-out market, supported by favourable weather in recent weeks. The company stated: “We continue to generate good sales growth from our invested sites, now starting to be underpinned by relative improvement in the performance of sites without recent investment. Total sales in the first 51 weeks of the financial year fell by 0.8%. Margins for the full year will be below last year, as previously advised, particularly as a result of acceleration of investment in the estate and wage inflation following the introduction of the National Living Wage in the second half. So far this financial year we have converted or remodelled 244 sites, and opened seven new sites.” Chief executive Phil Urban said: “We are encouraged by our improved trading performance in recent months. Weather in recent weeks has certainly been helpful to sales, but in addition we are starting to benefit from increased investment activity, instilling a commercial culture and a faster pace of execution and innovation in our business. We enter the new financial year facing an increasing number of cost headwinds, most notably labour. However, based on recent progress we remain committed to our strategy going forward.” Meanwhile, the company has appointed Keith Browne as a non-executive director. Browne is a representative of Elpida Group, a significant shareholder in Mitchells & Butlers. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Dublin, from which he graduated in 1990. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1994 and subsequently gained an MBA from University College Dublin. After joining KPMG Corporate Finance in 1996, Browne became a partner in the firm in 2001 and Head of Corporate Finance in 2009. He retired from the partnership to operate as an Independent Consultant in 2011. Chairman Bob Ivell said: “I am pleased to welcome Keith to the board and we look forward to working with him to continue to drive the performance of the business forward. Elpida is a supportive shareholder and we are confident that having Mr Browne on the board will be both positive and constructive. His corporate finance and real estate experience will be of great assistance to M&B.”

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