Page last updated at 07:46 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 08:46 UK

All Bar One boss quits over debt

A Mitchells & Butlers pub - the Prince of Wales, Notting Hill
M&B said it pubs were doing better than its rivals

The chief executive of the firm behind All Bar One and O'Neill's pub chains has resigned over the firm's debt.

Tim Clarke quit Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) after the group paid £69m to settle a long-term interest rate swap held against its borrowings.

M&B said it had accepted Mr Clarke's resignation "with regret", with chief operating officer Adam Fowle taking over as acting boss.

It also said pre-tax profits fell 48% in the six months to 11 April to £44m.

Like-for-like sales were up by 1.2% in the period it said - despite "significant declines in the on-trade drinks and eating out markets".

"Our focus on customer value, service quality and high amenity standards has generated substantial market share gains," said M&B, which also has the Harvester and Scream brands among its 2,000 pub and pub-restaurant outlets.

While February had been poor due to the effects of heavy snow, particularly on its restaurant brands, it said March was much improved and that a late Easter and warmer weather had made for a strong April.



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