28 September 2012

Mitchells & Butlers plc

Pre-close Trading Update

Operating performance

Like-for-like sales growth improved to 3.0% in the 9 weeks to 15 September and 2.1% for the 51 weeks of the year to date. There was little discernible impact on sales overall from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, although some businesses located near Games venues did benefit.

Like-for-like sales
July IMS
Current Trading
42 weeks to 14 July
9 weeks to 15 September
51 weeks to 15 September

In the first 51 weeks of the year, total sales for the Retained Estate* were up 5.2%. Total Company sales, including the impact from the major disposals last year, were up 3.2%.

Operating margins are showing progress from the half year as anticipated, however full year margins are still expected to be slightly behind last year as a result of inflationary cost increases together with an increased investment in service in our restaurants and pubs.

Bob Ivell, Executive Chairman, commented:

"Trading has held up well over the summer despite the generally adverse weather. Our business transformation programme remains on track, driving a sharp focus on enhanced guest service and increased cost efficiency.

We look forward to welcoming Alistair Darby next month as Chief Executive and working with him to continue to grow the business, whilst seeking to further strengthen the Board with the appointment of independent Non-Executive Directors."

Mitchells & Butlers plans to release its full year results, for the 53 weeks to 29 September 2012, on 27 November 2012.

* Note: Retained Estate comprises the ongoing business. It excludes the major disposal of 333 non-core pubs in November 2010.

For further information, please contact:

Tim Jones - Finance Director
+44 (0)121 498 4129
Stephen Hopson - Head of Investor Relations
+44 (0)121 498 4895
James Murgatroyd (RLM Finsbury)
+44 (0)20 7251 3801

Notes for editors:

Mitchells & Butlers' serves around 125 million meals and 425 million drinks each year and is one of the largest operators within the UK's £68 billion eating and drinking out market.
Like-for-like sales growth includes the sales performance against the comparable period in the prior year of all UK managed pubs that were trading in the two periods being compared. For the 51 weeks to 15 September 2012, 93% of the UK managed estate is included in this measure.