Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), owners of the Harvester chain of restaurants has given a half year trading update for the 27 weeks ended 5 April 2008.

The company said that it had resilient sales growth with same outlet like for like sales up 0.6 per cent in the first half. M&B also said that it had made market share gains with same outlet food sales up 4.7 per cent offsetting a drop in drink sales of 1.4 per cent.

M&B said it had, resilient sales growth and robust operating profits performance, together with strong operational cash generation for the first 27 weeks. This has been achieved amidst challenging trading conditions for beer sales but increased eating out demand in pubs following the smoking ban.

The company added, We remain confident in the growth prospects of our value for money food offers, continuing strong drinks market share gains and further productivity improvements.

The outlook for consumer confidence remains weak while the on-trade beer market is likely to remain depressed with a continuing shift to the off-trade.