Mitchells & Butlers mulls over job cuts as UK enters three-tier lockdown system

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Mitchells & Butlers PLC (LON:MAB) has started consultations to cut staff but it has not yet disclosed how many jobs would go.

The All Bar One owner said the current financial support provided by the government is not enough to offset losses arising from local lockdowns and the 10pm curfew.

READ: Frustrated hospitality sector takes legal action against Westminster’s restrictions

On Monday Boris Johnson announced a three-tier lockdown system based on individual regions’ infection levels.

The current rules will keep applying in the ‘medium’ and ‘high’ risk areas except in the latter households will not be allowed to mix indoors.

The ‘very high’ risk tier requires wet-led pubs, gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos to close, while individuals are asked not to travel in and out those areas unless necessary.

Food-led pubs and restaurants will be allowed to continue trading.

Liverpool City Region was deemed ‘very high’ risk while the ‘high’ alert level areas are: Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, West Midlands, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

The measures came days after Scotland imposed closures on all pubs and restaurants in the central belt.

Liberum noted that Marston’s PLC (LON:MARS) and Wetherspoons (LON:JDW) have the largest exposure to the North of England and Scotland, while Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) and Loungers PLC (LON:LGRS) look to be least affected because they are food-led.

Bowling operators Ten Entertainment Group PLC (LON:TEG) and Hollywood Bowl Group PLC (LON:BOWL) have a reasonable presence in Northern regions, with Young’s (LON:YNGA) and Fullers, Smith & Turner plc (LON:FSTA) mostly focused on London and Home Counties.

However, analysts said depressed sector valuations are already discounting further disruption.

Mitchells & Butlers dipped 2% to 137.87p on Tuesday afternoon.

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