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Weather lifts sales at pub group M&B

UK PUB group Mitchells & Butlers, in which Irish horseracing tycoons John Magnier and JP McManus own a 21pc stake, said like-for-like sales in the nine weeks to January 21 were 6.5pc higher as it benefited from more benign weather conditions.

The embattled group held its AGM in Birmingham yesterday, with executives having recently been chastised by the Association of British Insurers and independent corporate governance watchdog PIRC.

The latter had advised shareholders to vote against the re-election of Ron Robson and Doug McMahon to the board at the AGM. Both are representatives of billionaire Joe Lewis, who owns nearly 26pc of M&B. Mr Lewis was pilloried after he launched a takeover attempt last year with a lowball offer for the pub chain. He ended that effort in the autumn.

His two representatives were both re-elected, although more than 14pc of shares voted were cast against them. Typically, according to PIRC, just 2pc of shares are cast against a director's re-election at corporate AGMs in the UK. M&B has been without a chief executive since March last year, when incumbent Adam Fowle left.

Irish Independent