Mitchells & Butlers saw sales down 67.1% against the same period the previous year in its first quarter, the company reports today.

Mitchells Butlers Nicholson's

On a like-for-like basis (for sites when open, excluding periods of closure) trading has been 30.1% down on the prior year across this period.

The group currently has cash balances on hand of £125m, with all facilities drawn. With no sites trading, ongoing monthly cash burn has returned to the level previously disclosed in relation to the last shutdown, at approximately £35m to £40m before payment of debt service (representing interest and amortisation) of £50m per quarter. The next quarter payment date for debt service is 15th March.

Chief executive, Phil Urban, said: “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.”

Update (8th January): Mitchells and Butlers has said it is considering an equity capital raise, as it is buring through £35 to £40m of cash per month.

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