(Corrects first paragraph to read "...Wednesday..." instead of
May 17 British pubs, bars and restaurants
operator Mitchells & Butlers Plc reported a 9.6 percent
drop in first-half pretax profits on Wednesday, saying that
consumer confidence "has remained fragile" throughout this year
The group, whose brands include All Bar One, Harvester, Toby
Carvery and All Bar One, Nicholson's and O'Neill's, said it was
operating in a "challenging and uncertain environment" with
regard to the economy as a whole and in its markets and added
that there was therfore some caution over future demand.
Rising inflation and muted wage growth following Britain's
vote to leave the European Union last June is forcing many
consumers to rein in their spending.
Nevertheless the company said comparable sales in the 28
weeks to April 8 were up 1.6 percent, sharply lower than the 4.7
percent rise reported over the four weeks to Jan. 7, the festive
period when it called trading 'particularly strong', but the
latest results were affected by a later Easter holiday this
Like-for-like sales in the year to date, including the
Easter period, are up 1.9 percent, the company said.
Revenue for the half-year period rose 2.5 percent to 1.12
billion pounds ($1.45 billion) but pretax profit slipped from 83
million pounds to 75 million pounds. The interim dividend was
maintained at 2.5 pence a share.
($1 = 0.7733 pounds)
(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Mahlich)