COVID-19: Mitchells & Butlers reveals 1,300 workers made redundant

Pub and bar operator Mitchells & Butlers has revealed that 1,300 staff have been made redundant as the COVID-19 crisis bites.

The group behind chains including Harvester, All Bar One and Toby Carvery made the announcement as it slumped to a pre-tax loss of £123m for the year to 26 September, compared to a profit of £177m a year ago.

It adds to big cuts already announced by rivals, with Greene King axing 800 employees while Fuller’s has made 350 redundant.

Mitchells & Butlers had revealed earlier this year that it was consulting on job cuts and closing 20 pubs and restaurants but until now has not said how many roles would be affected.

It currently employs about 44,000 people in 1,700 sites across the UK.

The company said 99% of the workforce was furloughed during lockdown earlier this year, benefiting from £165m of government support to pay their wages.

But the group added: “Despite our best efforts to protect as many jobs as we can, we have had to make c.1,300 redundancies following the end of the financial period.

“The reduced levels of activity and closure of a small number of our sites meant that we could no longer support these roles.”

The company reported a 34% slump in revenue for the year largely due to coronavirus restrictions while its bottom line profit figure was also affected by a £93m hit relating to writedown of the value its properties.

However chief executive Phil Urban said it was in a “strong position to benefit when consumers are able to eat out again”.

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