Pub chain Mitchells & Butlers sales slump as hospitality industry bosses bemoan a ‘lost Christmas’
Pub chain Mitchells & Butlers saw sales slump over the festive period as industry bosses bemoaned a ‘lost Christmas’.
The firm said sales in the four weeks to January 8 were 10.2 per cent lower than in the same period in 2019, pre-pandemic.
It meant sales in the first quarter of the financial year – the 15 weeks to January 8 – were down 1.5 per cent.
Omicron effect: Pub chain Mitchells & Butlers said sales in the four weeks to January 8 were 10.2% lower than in the same period of 2019 before the pandemic struck
But chief executive Phil Urban was upbeat: ‘We are encouraged by the data on the Omicron variant which we believe will boost consumers’ confidence to return to pubs and restaurants,’ he said.
Shares rose 1 per cent, or 2.4p, to 260p.
The figures from M&B, which runs around 1,700 pubs under brands such as Harvester, All Bar One and Toby Carvery, came as data laid bare the Christmas chaos caused by Covid.
Around 3 per cent of the workforce, or 1m people, were off work due to Covid at the end of December, while 21 per cent of businesses reported increased cancellations.