Pubs group Mitchells & Butlers today credited Britain’s Indian summer for helping drive a 1.8 per cent rise in same-floorspace sales in the eight weeks to 17 September.
M&B, whose chains include All Bar One, O’Neills and Toby Carvery, said drink sales surged 3.7 per cent and food by 0.4 per cent as the heatwaves happened in August and early September.
It marks a rebound after sales had fallen throughout a difficult past year, with like-for-like sales in the 51 weeks so far down by 0.8 per cent.
Phil Urban, chief executive of M&B, said: “We are encouraged by our improved trading performance in recent months. Weather in recent weeks has certainly been helpful to sales, but in addition we are starting to benefit from increased investment activity, instilling a commercial culture and a faster pace of execution and innovation in our business.”
However, Urban repeated warnings in the company’s trading update over soaring costs from the recently introduced national living wage.
The group, which has about 70 outlets in Scotland, said that wage pressure, together with investment across its UK estate, will have impacted profit margins over the year to end-September.