FTSE 250 pub landlord Mitchell & Butlers (LON:MAB) reported that sales for the quarter ended 2nd January were down by 67.1%. The like-for-like decline was 30.1% after adjusting for periods of enforced closure. Management said that there were serious concerns about the future of the hospitality sector despite positive news regarding vaccination roll out.
CEO Phil Urban commented: “We are now in a third national lockdown. I am consistently impressed by the resilience and energy of our teams as we repeatedly open and close businesses that we have invested in to make Covid secure and urge the government to better understand the huge impact these restrictions are having on the hospitality sector. The Job Retention Scheme is temporarily protecting some employment but there is a real and pressing need for support for businesses themselves if we are to return to being the vibrant sector and important employers that we were.
“Mitchells & Butlers was a high performing business going into the pandemic and with the support of our main stakeholders I have every confidence that we can emerge in a strong competitive position once the current restrictions on us are lifted.“
Mitchell & Butlers shares dropped by 5.68% to 224p (as of 12:50 GMT).