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Pub group Mitchells & Butlers flags mounting cost pressures after profit jump

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A staff member works at a branch of All Bar One, a brand owned by Mitchells & Butlers, in London, Britain, December 1, 2021. Picture taken December 1, 2021. REUTERS/May James/File Photo

Mitchells & Butlers Plc (MAB.L) said on Wednesday recent sales in the new fiscal year were encouraging, but the British pub and restaurant group flagged challenges arising from surging energy and labour costs, after posting a 53 per cent jump in annual profit.

The Birmingham-based group’s warning on expenses comes at a time when a worsening cost-of-living crisis is forcing Britons to limit spending, while a sharp rise in energy bills and raw materials squeezes margins for restaurants and pubs.

“The trading environment remains highly challenging, with cost inflation continuing to put pressure on margins and we are ever mindful of the pressures that the UK consumer is facing,” Chief Executive Officer Phil Urban said in a statement.

In the 10 weeks since the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 24, Mitchells said sales climbed 6.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis from the year-ago period and 9.2 per cent over the corresponding phase in the pre-pandemic fiscal year 2019.

The owner of the Toby Carvery, Harvester and All Bar One brands said annual operating profit grew to 124 million pounds, while pre-tax profit came in at 8 million pounds, compared to a loss of 42 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.8256 pounds)

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