Mitchells and Butlers has announced a 67% decrease in first quarter sales for the 14 weeks ending 2 January 2021 which was attributed to the continuous impact of Covid-19 and the forced closures of all sites.
The pub group has seen a steep reduction in sales and was heavily impacted by the lockdown restrictions of trading since the announcement was made back in March 2020.
On a like-for-like basis the group said that trading has been down by 30% from the previous year across the same period.
The group currently has cash balances on hand of £125m, adding that with no sites trading, ongoing monthly cash burn has been approximately £35m to £40m before payment of debt service of £50m per quarter.
Phil Urban, chief executive, said: “We are now in a third national lockdown. I am consistently impressed by the resilience and energy of our teams as we repeatedly open and close businesses that we have invested in to make Covid secure and urge the government to better understand the huge impact these restrictions are having on the hospitality sector.
“The Job Retention Scheme is temporarily protecting some employment but there is a real and pressing need for support for businesses themselves if we are to return to being the vibrant sector and important employers that we were.”
He added: “Mitchells and Butlers was a high performing business going into the pandemic and with the support of our main stakeholders I have every confidence that we can emerge in a strong competitive position once the current restrictions on us are lifted.”