Pub operator Mitchells & Butlers rings in new year with higher sales

Jan 9 (Reuters) - British pubs and restaurants operator Mitchells & Butlers reported strong sales for the festive season, defying High Street gloom and wet weather, as more diners opted for its pricier healthy menu options.

Several retailers have performed poorly over the key holiday season, bit by last month’s general election and fewer shoppers visiting brick-and-mortar stores.

The owner of All Bar One, Toby Carvery, Harvester and Browns chain of pubs, bars and restaurants said like-for-like sales rose 2.6% in the 14 weeks to Jan. 4.

Shares in the company rose 3.4% to 436 pence at 0848 GMT, making the stock the second-biggest gainer on the midcap index. (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)