Mitchells reveals 1,300 jobs axed as it slumps to hefty annual loss
The pubs giant laid bare the extent of the recent redundancies as annual results showed the hefty annual losses for the year to September 26 from pre-tax profits of £177 million the previous year.
It said earlier this month that it was closing up to 20 of its pubs and restaurants and started redundancy consultations with staff, but did not at the time disclose how many roles were at risk.
It said: “Despite our best efforts to protect as many jobs as we can, we have had to make circa 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.”
Mitchells and the wider hospitality sector have been devastated by the pandemic and measures to control it, with a lengthy enforced closure earlier in the year and a 10pm curfew before the latest English lockdown.
Mitchells swung into the red after full-year revenues plunged 34% to £1.5 billion and it said total sales since the end of September have plunged 50.8%, due largely to the latest lockdown.
The group, which also owns brands including Harvester and Toby Carvery, said the outlook was dependent on the Government’s restrictions to contain coronavirus.
“The future will remain both challenging and highly uncertain with the duration and depth of the trading restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector in response to the Covid-19 pandemic being, in the first instance, the primary determinant of our financial performance,” it said.
The group said its suburban brands have fared well, even with the Covid-19 restrictions, with Miller & Carter and Premium Country Pubs leading the way.
But its city centre drinks-led pubs, such as Nicholson’s, have taken the brunt of the crisis, as trading woes have been compounded by many offices remaining empty.
Phil Urban, chief executive of Mitchells, said: “We remain optimistic that we will be able to regain the momentum previously built and continue to achieve sustained market outperformance when the current operating restrictions are eased.”