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Smoking ban boosts business at All Bar One

Published:  23 July, 2008

In force now for 11 weeks, the English smoking ban is - as expected - good for business, reports Mitchells & Butlers.

The smoking ban in England has had a beneficial impact on business, according to Mitchells and Butler, with same outlet like-for-like sales for its English pubs up by 2.2%.

Announcing a strong trading performance for the 22 weeks to 15 September, the company, which operates around 2,000 pubs in prime locations nationwide, including O'Neill's and Old Bar One, said, despite a period of poor weather and the introduction of the smoking ban in England on 1 July 2007, in its English pubs like-for-like sales on drinks were up 0.9% and food sales were up 5.8%.

The company reported for the 50 weeks to 15 September 2007, same outlet like-for-like sales increased by 3.2%, with drinks sales up 2.5% and food sales up 5.3%.

Total Retail sales for the 50 weeks were 9.1% ahead and average weekly sales per managed pub were up 6% to 18.5k.

Residential same outlet like-for-like sales for the 50 weeks increased by 3.4%, with Local pubs performing very strongly, particularly in food, but, it added, the pressure on mid market consumers continued to lead to some slowing in Pub Restaurants.

On the High Street, it said, the successful evolution of its formats and the buoyancy of trading in central London led to increasing like-for-like sales growth of 3.1% in the 50 weeks with a further improvement in the last 18 weeks.

Mitchell's & Butlers, chief executive, Tim Clarke, said the result was in line with the company's expectations of the initial impact from the smoking ban before the onset of winter. He said: "We are encouraged by trading in Scotland up 3.9% in the last 18 weeks and in the longer term we continue to believe the overall impact of the ban will be beneficial to our business."