Pub group Mitchells & Butlers yesterday warned of a possible future hit from a Brexit-hit pound and surging wage costs as it revealed that profits tumbled to £94 million in the year to 24 September.
That compared with a profit of £126m in the previous year. M&B, whose 70 pubs in Scotland include the Sheep Heid Inn, reputedly the oldest pub in Edinburgh, said like-for-like sales fell 0.8 per cent in the year.
However, it said that after a “challenging” first half it returned to sales growth in the second half helped by heatwaves in August and September.
Phil Urban, chief executive of M&B, whose branded pub estates include O’Neill’s and Harvester, cautioned over “external cost headwinds, notably from further wage inflation, the recent business rates review and exchange rate movements”.
The company said the plunging pound would hit the £100m of purchases it makes in foreign currencies annually.