StockMarketWire.com - Pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers reported a 36% rise in annual profit as it boosted like-for-like sales and worked to improve efficiencies.

Pre-tax profit for the year through 28 September rose to £177m, up from £130m on-year.

Revenue rose 3.9% to £2.24bn, while like-for-like sales grew 3.5%.

Adjusted operating profit rose 4.6% to £317m.

Mitchells & Butlers did not declare a dividend for the year. Its net debt fell to £1.56bn, down from £1.69bn.

'These strong results reflect the work we have done over the last few years, first to build sustained sales growth and then to convert that into profit growth,' chief executive Phil Urban said.

'It has been extremely encouraging to see an improvement in like-for-like sales growth across the portfolio during the year, fuelled by our Ignite programme of work.'

'This puts us in a stronger position as we move forward into the next financial year, in what we expect to remain challenging market conditions.'

In the first seven weeks of the new financial year, like-for-like sales grew 1.4%, which the company said indicated they had 'continued to outperform the market in a period of adverse weather'.

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