Mitchells & Butlers has given a pre-close trading update on the 51 weeks to 17 September.

It reported:

• Total like-for-like sales for the year down 0.8%

• Food lfls falling 1.4% with drink lfls down 0.1%

• In the final eight weeks of the year total lfls were up 1.8% with food up 0.4% and drinks 3.7%

• 244 sites converted or remodelled in the year, and seven new sites opened

The group said it continued to generate good sales growth from invested sites, now starting to be underpinned by relative improvement in the performance of sites without recent investment.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: “We are encouraged by our improved trading performance in recent months. Weather in recent weeks has certainly been helpful to sales, but in addition we are starting to benefit from increased investment activity, instilling a commercial culture and a faster pace of execution and innovation in our business.

“We enter the new financial year facing an increasing number of cost headwinds, most notably labour. However, based on recent progress we remain committed to our strategy going forward.”

At the same time, the company has announced the appointment of Keith Browne as a non-executive director. Browne is a representative of Elpida Group Limited, which is owned by significant shareholders John Magnier and JP McManus. After joining KPMG Corporate Finance in 1996, Browne became a partner in the firm in 2001 and Head of Corporate Finance in 2009. He retired from the partnership to operate as an Independent Consultant in 2011.

Chairman Bob Ivell said: “I am pleased to welcome Keith to the Board and we look forward to working with him to continue to drive the performance of the business forward. Elpida is a supportive shareholder and we are confident that having Mr Browne on the Board will be both positive and constructive. His corporate finance and real estate experience will be of great assistance to M&B.”