Pub chain operator Mitchells & Butlers has managed to produce a rise in like-for-like sales of 1.6% in the half year to the end of April. That's no mean feat given the current state of consumer spending.
But pre-tax profit fell 8%, as margins continued to be weighed down by rising costs.
The firm admits it's a tough market.
Chief executive Phil Urban says its margins are being hit by higher costs "most notably from wage inflation, property costs, energy and food and drink costs"
"In light of this, our operational teams have performed well to deliver flat underlying profitability in the period," he adds.
The firm has about 1,700 restaurants and pubs in the UK that serve 130 million meals and 400 million drinks every year.