(Adds shares, background)
Jan 13 Britain's Mitchells & Butlers Plc
said like-for-like sales rose 1.7 percent so far this financial
year as the pub group notched up 'particularly strong' trading
over the festive period.
Shares in the company rose more than 5.6 percent to 275.4
pence at 0817 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.
The group, whose pubs include Harvester, Toby Carvery and
All Bar One, said total sales rose by 2.3 percent during the
period with a like-for-like sales growth of 4.7 percent for the
four weeks to Jan. 7, which includes the Christmas peak.
Mitchells & Butlers, which has been focusing on its food
offerings, said like-for-like food sales grew by 2.8 percent
during the 7 weeks to Jan. 7.
The firm has tried to improve profit by refurbishing its
estate of over 1,700 sites, increasing marketing and targeting
higher volumes of food sales with cheap deals, but increasing
cost pressure has squeezed margins.
On Friday, the company reiterated its warning of a slide in
margins, citing increased cost pressure.
The pub group's strong portfolio of brands and formats
includes Miller & Carter, Premium Country Pubs, Sizzling Pubs,
Vintage Inns, Browns, Castle, Nicholson's and others.
In addition, it operates Innkeeper's Lodge hotels in the UK
and Alex restaurants and bars in Germany.
(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar