Sheep Heid Inn owner Mitchells & Butlers cheers sales growth

Mitchells & Butlers, the pub and restaurant giant behind All Bar One and scores of well-known Scottish watering holes including Edinburgh’s historic Sheep Heid Inn, has reported sales growth “convincingly ahead of the market”.

The historic Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh is one of the group's many pubs. Picture: Scott Louden

Like-for-like sales in the ten weeks to 27 July were up 2.8 per cent across the group’s brands, which also include Toby Carvery and pub chains Nicholson’s and O’Neill’s.

Food sales were up 5.4 per cent but drinks were down 0.3 per cent, reflecting the combination of the World Cup and hot summer in the previous year when punters spent more on drinks.

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Overall like-for-like sales in the year so far have grown 3.6 per cent.

The group, which also owns the Browns and Miller & Carter chains, opened six new sites and completed 230 conversions and remodels.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: “We are pleased with sales performance, which remains convincingly ahead of the market. Whilst growth across the market during the early weeks of the period reflected the World Cup and sunny weather last year, we are encouraged by how growth has strengthened in recent weeks.”

Urban said the firm’s “Ignite 2” initiatives, which include improvements to the booking system and more labour efficiencies, have driven the “momentum” in the business.

Total sales, which include the impact of additional sites, have increased by 4.1 per cent in the year-to-date.