New chief executive takes reins at JP McManus-backed UK pub chain
Britain's biggest managed pub and restaurant business, Mitchells & Butlers, has appointed Phil Urban as its chief executive, nine months after he joined the FTSE 250 business as its chief operating officer.
The stockmarket-listed company's biggest shareholders include Irish racing tycoons JP McManus and John Magner.
Alistair Darby, who has run the company for the past three years, will step down as chief executive on November 25.
The appointment came as Mitchells & Butlers revealed modest sales growth over the past year, driven by improved food sales.
In the 50 weeks to September 12, food sales increased by 2.1pc on a like-for-like basis, outweighing the 0.3pc decline in drinks sales.
As a result overall sales edged up by 1pc. The group said it expected the slow pace of growth to continue, resulting in financial results which were "at the bottom end of the range of current market expectations".
In addition to those improvements in the group's existing sites, Mitchells & Butlers opened 14 new sites and converted another 48 locations. Mr Urban was previously managing director at Grosvenor Casinos. (Telegraph)