The pub companies Mitchells & Butlers and Fuller, Smith & Turner have reported heavy losses and said they had axed about 1,700 jobs, highlighting the impact of continued coronavirus restrictions on Britain’s hospitality sector. Mitchells & Butlers, which operates bar, pub and restaurant brands including All Bar One, O’Neills, Harvester and Toby Carvery, slumped to a £123m loss in the year to the end of September, down from a £177m profit a year earlier. The group said it had made 1,300 people redundant since the end of its financial year, despite receiving government support through the furlough scheme and the business rates holiday. The firm, which operates about 1,700 venues across the UK, believes it is well-placed to recover once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. However, given the ongoing disruption to trading, it noted a “material uncertainty” about its ability to continue as a going concern and the valuation of its property portfolio. That view was echoed by Fullers, which fell to a £22.2m pre-tax loss for the six months to the end of September, compared with a £17.9m profit a year earlier. The group said it had made 350 people redundant. Fullers has shed 20% of its workforce, just under… Read full this story
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