Mitchells and Butlers has reported that like-for-like sales have recovered to 97% of pre-Covid levels in the 18 weeks since the indoor reopening of hospitality on 17 May.
In a trading update for the 51 weeks ended 18 September 2021, the group attributed this recovery to a 4% rise in LFL sales for the most recent eight weeks when compared to the same period in 2019.
However, the owner of All Bar One, Harvester, and Miller and Carter, also revealed that total sales year to date sit at 45% of pre-Covid levels due to 18 weeks of enforced closures during the period.
Phil Urban, chief executive at the company, said: “We are encouraged by the improvement in sales performance following the easing of restrictions.
“However, we are still seeing volatility and a contrast between sales performance at food led and wet led brands, highlighting the continuing uncertainty.”
The period saw Mitchells and Butlers fully repay its liquidity facility within the securitisation, as its cash balance on hand reached £197m with undrawn unsecured facilities of £150m at the period end.
Urban added: “Our diverse estate, balanced across a wide range of offers, puts us in a strong position coming out of the pandemic.
“We are looking forward to the new financial year, with a renewed focus on our capital plan and generating both sales and efficiencies through our Ignite improvement programme.”