Pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers has warned that the problems caused by Brexit and rising costs will hurt the hospitality , just as companies return to profit after pandemic restrictions relaxed.
The company, which owns chains of pubs including O 'Neill ' s and restaurant brands such as Harvester, said Brexit remained "an important event for the market" and created risks for the sector, especially around the supply and cost of products and labor shortages. 'artwork. He said thatRising energy bills and rising staff salaries were also weighing on the industry.
Mitchells & Butlers - who also run All Bar One, Toby Carvery and Miller & Carter - said customers started returning to their 1,600 UK locations when lock restrictions were relaxed in the spring . Its sales rebounded in August and September and it is now receiving bookings for the Christmas holidays.
Announcing its annual results, the group said its suburban locations traded better than those in city centers, such as the following work from home meant that people went to their local pas soon as at a branch near their place of work. Attendance in major cities has slowly increased in recent months, a trend the company expects to continue.
Pub and restaurant goers want to socialize with the others in a way they can't at home due to the pandemic restrictions, the group said, as it reported a pre-tax loss of £ 42m for the year to September 25, against £ 123m a year earlier.
Mitchells & Butlers said he had returned to profitability in the past few months and his like-for-like sales were higher 2.7% to pre-Covid levels over the past eight weeks.
"We are seeing bookings coming in for Christmas now, people are acknowledging that " 'they have manthat last year and there is pent-up demand to celebrate this year, "Phil Urban, chief executive of the company, told BBC Radio 4's Today program.
"I think it will inevitably be different, we won't see so many of these big office parties, but we might see more small groups getting together in the suburbs and maybe not so much in the centers -cities ".
Mitchells & Butlers said it was working to offset the impact of rising costs, but warned that they would have a residual impact on its performance in the current fiscal year.
Higher utility bills remain a concern for the business, so that it will also have to pay more its staff from next April because they benefit from the target increasing the 'national living wage ' to £ 9.50 an hour for workers aged 23 and over.
Amid rising costs, the company asked the government to expand the temporary reduction of the VAT rate on foodstuffs and sales of non-alcoholic beverages, which currently stands at 12.5% but is due to back to 20% level from before Covid next April.
The company said the temporary tax cut was worth £ 81million sterling to the company during the year until September.