Pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers has defied the high street gloom and wet weather as it posted stronger Christmas sales.

The Toby Carvery and All Bar One owner said like-for-like sales jumped 5.6% over the core three-week Christmas trading period.

It said this helped to buoy like-for-like sales since its last update in November, with sales up 3.5% for the seven weeks to January 4.

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The pub owner was strengthened by growing food sales, which increased 4% over the period, while drink sales rose 2.7%.

Over the full year to date, group sales have increased by 2.7% despite worries over consumer spending.

Mitchells & Butlers added that it has competed 81 conversions and remodels of its sites, as well as opening one new site, in recent months.

It said it is continuing to look for opportunities to make sites more premium where possible and is currently "encouraged" by the returns generated.

Phil Urban, chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers, said the company posted "record sales across the key festive days", with growth of 6.5%.

He said: "We are pleased with our trading performance over the festive trading season against a strong set of results last year, again demonstrating the breadth of appeal of our brands for special occasions.

"This continued progress reflects the output of our Ignite initiatives which will continue to be our focus for the year ahead."

Investors cheered the results, with shares jumping 2.8% to 433.5p in early trading on Thursday.

Card Factory shares have plunged after the retailer slashed its outlook on the back of weak Christmas trading.

The high street firm said its performance over the key festive period was "softer than anticipated" amid "challenging" conditions.

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It blamed the continuing drop in high street footfall, which it said was maintained as result of the General Election and "weak" consumer sentiment.

The retailer said it partially offset footfall decline by improving product quality and the size of transactions, but like-for-like sales for the 11 months to December declined by 0.6%, accelerating from a 0.1% drop in the same period a year earlier.

New store openings resulted in a 3.6% increase in total revenues as it added 47 outlets to take its total estate to 1,019.

Card Factory said it expects to post underlying earnings between £81 million and £83 million for the current full year, a decline from £89.4 million last year.

Hundreds of customers of failed investment firm London Capital & Finance will be left out of pocket, and thousands more could face disappointment in their hunt for compensation.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) said it would be unable to protect 283 bondholders who dealt with LCF before it was authorised as a financial services business in June 2016.

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The scheme said it will compensate only 159 customers at the end of February.

It now faces the long process of combing through the rest of the approximately 11,150 cases to find out if investors are owed a payout but many of these will probably not be eligible, it said.

The news is likely to disappoint many of the company's bondholders who have been waiting anxiously since LCF collapsed in late January last year.

FSCS chief executive Caroline Rainbird said: "I regret that LCF investors impacted by the firm's failure have been waiting several anxious months to find out whether or not they may be eligible to receive compensation.

"We are, however, working as quickly as we can to establish a suitable process for determining customers' claims, and expect to be in a position to start this process in the next few weeks."

Around 11,600 investors had bought 16,700 bonds worth an estimated £237 million from LCF by the time it went out of business.