Mitchells & Butlers achieved like-for-like sales growth of 1.4% in August, as a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and the reduction in VAT.

The first three weeks of September saw a like-for like sales decline of 6.4%, prior to the introduction of additional trading restrictions this week.

In July like-for-like sales declined by 32.4%, due to reduced capacity, enforcement of social distancing and consumer caution.

M&B has reopened 95% of its estate.

In a pre-close trading update, M&B said since reopening it has “continued to outperform the market”, benefiting from the “breadth of our estate” and the “balanced exposure we have both regionally and across offerings”.

CEO Phil Urban described the future as “challenging and uncertain” following the introduction of curfew and other measures.

The group currently has unsecured cash balances of around £100m, in addition to undrawn committed unsecured facilities of around £140m.

Before lockdown M&B had completed 168 investment projects including two acquisitions.

The investment programme was suspended in March and resumption will be considered through continuous review of operational performance and cash flow management.

Phil Urban, CEO, said: “After a difficult period of closure, we have been delighted to welcome back our guests with the vast majority of our sites open and trading again under Covid-secure procedures. I am particularly impressed by the way in which our teams have made this possible by responding to the challenge of our new operating environment with energy and enthusiasm.

“The future remains both challenging and uncertain, with only this week a curfew and other additional restrictions being imposed on how and when we can operate. However, we believe we are well placed to meet that challenge and to keep Mitchells & Butlers at the forefront of the eating and drinking-out market.”