RNS Number : 5741Z
Mitchells & Butlers PLC
24 September 2009


24 September 2009


Mitchells & Butlers plc

Pre Close Trading Update


Current Trading


Mitchells & Butlers announces same outlet like-for-like sales growth of2.6% in the 10 weeks to 19 September2009.Thisrepresents an improvingsales trend.In the 51 weeks,same outlet like-for-like sales growthwas1.6%andtotalRetailsaleswereupby3.4%.


Like-for-like sales

Current Trading

Trading to Q3 IMS

Total


10 weeks to 19 September

41 weeks to11 July

51 weeks to 19 September

Food

5.8%

2.0%

3.1%

Drink

1.2%

2.4%

1.9%





Total

2.6%

1.3%

1.6%

Note:total like-for-like salesincludeothernon food and drink categories


In the 10weeks,same outlet like-for-likefoodand drinksaleswereup5.8%and 1.2% respectivelywith residential pubfood sales showing a strengthening trendthrough the holiday period. Other non food and drinks sales categories,whilst showing some signs of improvement, continue to be under pressure.


Like-for-like sales

Current Trading

Trading to Q3 IMS

Total


10 weeks to 19 September

41 weeks to11 July

51 weeks to 19 September

Residential

3.8%

2.2%

2.5%

High street

(0.4)%

(0.1)%

(0.1)%


In the Residential estate, which accounts for 77% of total sales, same outlet like-for-like sales were up3.8%in the 10weeks.Same outlet like-for-like sales in the High Street, accounting for 23% of sales,weredown 0.4% reflecting a slight slowing in the growth rates inLondonandacrossourotherhigh street pubs.


The BoardexpectsRetailnet operating marginsin the second half of the year to be approximately 1.1% pointsbelow those achieved over the same period last year. This represents areductionin thefirst halfdecline, which was3.2% points,as a result of lessening input cost pressures and a stronger sales performance.


As a consequence of the improved sales performance the Board expects earnings for the current year to be slightly above current market consensus estimates*.


CashFlow and Financing


The business continues to generatestrongoperationalcash inflowssupportedbydisposals of £74m in the year to date.Drawingsonthe£550m unsecured medium termfacility are nowbelow£400m,wellwithinthenextrequiredstep down in thefacilityin December 2009to£475m. Year endnet debtis expectedto beslightly below the half year figure of£2.64bn.


Outlook


The outlook for consumer expenditure isuncertainasunemployment continues toriseand is predicted to grow through the first half of next year. In addition,the prospective increase in VAT in January 2010is likely toimpact consumer spending. These factors highlight thedifficulteconomic environmentthatthe industry facesover the next twelve months. However, we believe that thecompany's combination of strong sites, brands,operational skillsand cost managementleave the business well positioned in the face of thesechallengingmarket conditions.


Mitchells & Butlers will announceFinalResults for the year ending 26 September 2009 on 26 November 2009.



Notes:

* Reuters consensus forecast forearnings beforeexceptional items and IAS 39 movements for FY09 is currently stated as £83m.


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 at9.00am; please dial+44 (0) 1452 555 566and quote conf ID30885949. The replay will be availableuntil07/10/09on+44 (0) 1452 55 00 00, replay access number30885949#.


Notes for editors:


-

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.

-

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.

-

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 51 weeks to 19 September200993% of the estate is included in this measure.



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