Mitchells & Butlers confirms job losses as profits fall in full-year results



Pub group Mitchells & Butlers has revealed the extent of the impact Coronavirus has had on the business, with around 1,300 jobs lost this year.

The group operates more than 1,700 pubs and bars across the UK – 83 of which are located in Scotland – with brands including Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Browns, Nicholson’s, O’Neill’s and Ember Inns.

For the year ended 26 September, total revenue was down 34.1% to £1.47bn, while operating profit fell from £297m last year to just £8m in 2020.

Mitchells & Butlers reported a loss before tax of £123m, compared to profits of £177m in 2019.

Like-for-like sales decline of 3.5%, although the update noted that this remained consistently ahead of the market.

Cash flow from operating activities was £127m – down from £266m last year – despite the shortfall in trading during lockdowns earlier this year.

A full property valuation and impairment review was undertaken in September resulting in an overall decrease in book value of £208m.

The group said earlier this month that it was closing 20 pubs and restaurants, with redundancy consultations already underway with affected staff.

A statement explained: “Despite our best efforts to protect as many jobs as we can, we have had to make circa 1,300 redundancies following the end of the financial period.

“The reduced levels of activity and closure of a small number of our sites meant that we could no longer support these roles.”

Chief executive Phil Urban commented: “Throughout a very uncertain and challenging year our businesses and teams have adapted quickly, creating a safe environment for guests and putting us in a strong position to benefit when consumers are able to eat out again.

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“We saw direct evidence of this from a strong trading period in July and August before further restrictions came into force.”

He added: “With our great estate, balanced portfolio of brands and proven management team, we remain optimistic that we will be able to regain the momentum previously built and continue to achieve sustained market outperformance, when the current operating restrictions are eased.”



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