Sunnier weather helped herd more people into pubs last month, though the restaurant sector saw sales continue to wilt.
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Mitchells & Butlers posted its half-year results for the 28 weeks to 14 April on Wednesday morning, reporting adjusted like-for-like sales growth of 1.6%, and growth adjusted for the impact of snowy weather earlier in the year of 2.5%.
There was mixed news for retailers, pubs and restaurants on Tuesday as encouraging high street research was published by the British Retail Consortium but spending data from Barclaycard painted a more gloomy picture.
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Restaurant and pub chain owner Mitchells & Butlers said trading through the core three week festive season was "strong", with like-for-like sales growth of 3.9%.
Analysts at Numis Securities downgraded Greene King and Mitchells and Butlers on Thursday as the brokerage grew increasingly cautious on managed pubs given the sector's above-average exposure to labour costs and high operational gearing.
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Monday that as part of his new 'London Plan' he would undertake extensive measures aimed at halting the "shocking" number of pubs closing their doors in the capital.
Pub group Mitchells & Butlers reported a drop in full-year profit on Thursday as it highlighted inflationary cost headwinds and said it will not pay an interim dividend in the current financial year, although revenue rose.
Pubs, bars and restaurants last month endured their biggest sales fall in a year, with London restaurants hardest hit in an industry facing a squeezed consumer and rising costs.
Mitchells & Butlers posted its pre-close trading update ahead of its full-year results on Thursday, reporting that following a "strong sales performance" in early summer, the market had become more challenging in recent weeks, with poor weather compared to last year particularly impacting drink sales.
Pub companies and analysts were gulping after a warning from brewer Greene King about falling sales, rising competition and costs, all set against a worrying backdrop of tightening consumer belts.
UK pubs face twin risks from consumer spending and rising costs, leading HSBC to take a more negative stance on the sector and downgrade Greene King and JD Wetherspoons.
Pub group Mitchells & Butlers served up some strong trading numbers for its third quarter, with total and like-for-like sales growth both accelerating amid the recent warm weather.
Analysts at Liberum initiated coverage on UK-listed leisure stocks at 'neutral' despite recent strong growth in the sector as leisure operators slowly filled the vacuum left by retailers on the High Street.
Pub group Mitchells & Butlers reported a drop in profit for the 28 weeks to 8 April despite a rise in sales as it pointed to increased costs and exchange rate movements.
Restaurant sales dropped off last month after several months of growth, with flat sales growth for pub operators and strong performance in London helping the capital buck the trend.
In the normally quiet month for the pubs and restaurant sector, sales data for January was positive overall and showed casual dining chains enjoying a continued recovery.