Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), the managed pub group, will open at least 120 sites next year as it powers on with its conversions and new build programme. Management told analysts this morning that in 2011 it would open 50 new sites and convert 70 sites as it ramps up its move towards becoming a more food led business and it would match or better this in 2012 and 2013. Adam Fowle, the group’s chief executive, said there were “tons of opportunities” out there and said its 13 brands gave it the scope to look at a variety of different property styles and locations. He said the group would be looking at more leasehold opportunities moving forward, and added out of the 50 new sites it is doing in 2011, 65% would leases. Fowle said: “Going forward it’s about developing a decent pipeline across 2011 and 2012 and beyond.” The group would also look at transport hubs in the future, he added, saying it was no longer “ideologically opposed” to opening at airports and train stations. Separately, Fowle described M&B’s recent TV advertising campaign as a “virtuous circle” and said the company would double its output going ahead. He also indicated that the company was “cautiously confident” about Christmas, revealing that the day itself was its biggest day for food sales.