(Adds background on sector, shares)
Jan 12 (Reuters) - British pub operator Mitchells & Butlers Plc said on Friday comparable sales in the three-week festive season rose 3.9 percent, kicking off the key Christmas period trading results from pub operators.
The company, which operates more than 1,750 restaurants and pubs in the UK under brands such as Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One, said sales over the full seven-week period since Nov. 23 were “encouraging,” but the performance was impacted by adverse weather.
Shares of the company were down more than 2.5 percent in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.
Mitchells, the first among the listed British pub operator to report Christmas trading, said it sold a record 225,500 meals on Christmas day.
Like other operators in the sector, Mitchells has been battling increased costs, most notably from wage inflation, rising property costs and unfavourable currency exchange rates.
The company has been continuously monitoring its prices and had carried out price adjustments to factor in the food price inflation.
Mitchells, which has refurbishing its pub estates, said it opened two new sites and completed 114 conversions and remodels in its the financial year to date. (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)