McManus and Magnier-backed UK pub operator warns of uncertainty

McManus and Magnier-backed UK pub operator warns of uncertainty

Drinks being poured at Mitchells and Butlers owned bar, the O’Neill’s, in Carnaby Street, central London.

A UK pub operator in which Irish financiers JP McManus and John Magnier are significant shareholders has warned of a challenging and uncertain time ahead having already seen sales decimated this year due to Covid-related restrictions and closures.

Mitchells and Butlers owns the O’Neill’s, All Bar One and Harvester chains in the UK, with Mr McManus and Mr Magnier significant investors behind British businessman and Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis.

M&B said its chains have outperformed the UK pub and family restaurant sectors since initially reopening. However, it said total sales for the year to date are down by 35.4%, as UK pubs enter a new phase of opening restrictions from this week. The drop in sales was mainly down to the previous Covid-related closure period.

The group revised its lending arrangements in the summer and currently has unsecured cash balances of around £100m (€110m) and undrawn unsecured loan facilities of approximately £140m.

CEO Phil Urban said the future remains “both challenging and uncertain” but added that M&B is well-placed to recover.

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