RNS Number : 7558V
Mitchells & Butlers PLC
16 July 2009


16 July 2009


Mitchells & Butlers plc

Third Quarter Interim Management Statement


Highlights


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Robustsales growth: like-for-like sales up1.7%in the 8 weeks to 11 July

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Same outletdrink sales up 3.2%andfood sales up2.0%in the 8 weeks to 11July

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Improving net operating marginsassisted by slowing input costinflation

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Continued strong operating cash flows;drawings on unsecured facility reduced to £432m


Current Trading


Mitchells & Butlers announces same outlet like-for-like sales growth of 1.7% in the 8 weeks to 11 Julywhich isin line with oursalestrendoverthe last 18 months. Same outlet like-for-like sales growth in the first 41 weeks of the yearwas1.3%,with totalRetailsales up3.1%.


Like-for-like sales

Current Trading

Trading to Interims

Total


8 weeks to 11 July

33 weeks to 16 May

41 weeks to 11 July

Residential

3.1%

2.0%

2.2%

High street

(1.4)%

0.3%

(0.1)%

Total

1.7%

1.2%

1.3%


In the 8 weeks,Mitchells & Butlerscontinued to take market share withsame outlet like-for-likedrinkand foodsales up 3.2%and 2.0% respectively againstdeclining markets.Non food and drinks sales categoriesremainedchallengingandadversely impactedtotallike-for-likesales growth.


In the Residential estate, which accounts for 77% of total sales, same outlet like-for-like sales were up3.1% in the 8weeks, withstrongperformances fromourLocals pub formatsassisted by therecentgood weather. Pub Restaurant formats havealsotraded well in a challenging market.


Same outlet like-for-like sales in the High Street, accounting for 23% of sales, were down 1.4%. This decline reflects continued pressure on the later evening venues and a weaker performance across the other high street pubs which do not benefit from good weather.


Net operating margins have improved at the start of the second half of the financial year compared with the first half as a result of slowing input cost inflation and continued productivity improvements.


CashFlow and Financing


The business continues to generate significantoperationalcash inflowssupportedbydisposals of £60m in the year to date.Drawingsonthe£550m unsecured medium term facility are nowat£432m,alreadybelow thenext step down in the facilityin December 2009to£475m*. Weexpect year endnet debttoreducebelow the levelat the half year.


BoardDirectors


Richard McGuireistodayappointedasanon-executivedirectorof the Company,acting asthe nominated shareholder representativeof Piedmont Inc. (aninvestment vehicle of Joe Lewis).Piedmont Inc. owns93,047,373 shares in Mitchells & Butlers, representing22.89% of the voting rights.Mitchells & Butlers has agreed withPiedmontthat it can appoint one non-executive director when theireconomicinterest in the business is above 16% and two non-executive directorswhentheir interest is above 22%.


Richard has significant financial experience gained from a number of senior positions including his current role as President of Tavistock Europe (a company owned by Joe Lewis) and previously as a managing director in investment banking at Citigroup and prior roles at HSBC, Martin Currie and Baillie Gifford.He is also Chairman of a recently delisted company, Bulgarian Property Developments Plc.His skills and expertise will further strengthen the Board of Mitchells&Butlers.


Mitchells & Butlers confirms that there is no further information about Richard requiring disclosure under paragraphs 9.6.13 (2) to (6) of the Listing Rules of the UK Listing Authority.


The process for selecting apermanentchief executive is progressing well.


Outlook


The outlook for consumer spending, and in particular unemployment, remains uncertain. Against this background, Mitchells & Butlers' leading brands and formats, high quality estate and its value for money offers enable the Company to be well positioned to deliver a continuing robust trading performance. As a result the Board still expects profit for the year to be in line with consensus market expectations**.



Notes:

* The unsecured medium term facility has a borrowings profile as follows:



Start date

Facilitylimit

FY09

Current

£550m

FY10

December 2009

£475m

FY10

June 2010

£425m

FY11

December 2010

£338m

Note: the facility matures in November 2011


**Reuters consensus forecastforprofit before tax,exceptional items,and IAS 39 movementsforFY09iscurrently stated as£121m.



For further information, please contact:


Investor Relations:

Erik Castenskiold

0121 498 6513

Media:

James Murgatroyd (Finsbury Group)

0207 251 3801


There will be a conference call for analysts and investors at10.00am; please dial+44 (0) 1452 555 566and quote conf ID18802239. The replay will be availableuntil29/07/2009on+44 (0) 1452 55 00 00, replay access number18802239#.



Notes for editors:


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Mitchells & Butlers owns and operates around 2,000 high quality pubs in prime locations nationwide. The Group's predominantly freehold, managed estate is biased towards large pubs in residential locations. With around 3% of the pubs in theUK, Mitchells & Butlers hasover10% of industry sales and average weekly sales per pub almost four times greater than that of the averageUKpub.

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Mitchells & Butlers' leading portfolio of brands and formats includes Ember Inns, Harvester, Sizzling Pub Co., Toby Carvery, Vintage Inns, Crown Carveries, All Bar One, O'Neill's, Nicholson's and Browns. In addition, Mitchells & Butlers operates a large number of individual city centre and residential pubs.

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Like-for-like sales growth includes the sales performance against the comparable period in the prior year of all managed pubs that were trading in the two periods being compared. For the 41 weeks to 11 July 200993% of the estate is included in this measure.



This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
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