British pub sales froth back up despite consumer squeeze
(ShareCast News) - Pub and restaurant sales bubbled higher in June after squeaking lower the month before, with data indicating an evening's boozing remains a priority for consumers amid the squeeze on household income and wider uncertainty.
Like-for-likes at sales at managed pub and restaurant groups rose 0.6% nationally compared to June last year, the Coffer Peach business tracker revealed on Thursday.
June's report, which is collected from 36 companies across the country, owned by companies including Fuller's, Greene King, Marston's, Mitchells & Butlers, Restaurant Group, Whitbread and Young's, followed a 0.4% decline in May.
"Fears of consumers cutting back on spending so far appear premature, at least when it comes to going to the pub or restaurant," said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, which produces the tracker.
Pub and bar groups saw LFL sales improve 1.1%, while casual dining restaurant chains marginally down 0.2%.
"The good weather in June will have helped pubs rather than restaurants, but a positive return across the market, even if modest, is good news. We essentially have a flat market, which considering the uncertainty in the wider economy and the increasing cost pressures that the out-of-home market is experiencing, will be welcomed by operators."
With tourism booming thanks to the weak pound, London led the rest of the country with like-for-like sales up 1.2% versus a 0.4% rise outside of the M25.
London pubs had a particularly good month with like-for-like sales frothing up 2.4%.