Euro 2016 provided a much-needed boost for UK pubs over opening weekend

Francesca Washtell
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Marseille Prepares for UEFA Euro 2016
England fans in Marseille were almost matched by boozers at home (Source: Getty)

UK pubs are toasting the Euro 2016 opening weekend after the sporting event of the season drove an estimated 26 per cent surge in revenues compared to an average weekend in June.

Pubs in Wales posted the biggest increase in takings, as pub sales leapt a whopping 41 per cent on the 2015 average for a Saturday in June. Drink sales were ramped up both in the afternoon and during after-match celebrations.

Wales, whose team had not appeared at a major football tournament since 1958, beat Slovakia 2-1.

Read more: Five reasons why England can win the European Championships in France

Commiseration drinks may have helped boost takings in Northern Ireland as, despite its team losing to Poland, pub takings still ballooned 29 per cent.

Takings at English pubs came in at a smaller 23 per cent rise on Saturday compared to the 2015 average, confirming what we all already knew: No one is satisfied by a draw (England drew 1-1 with Russia).

The figures were based on sales data from an anonymised sample of 500 UK pubs and were compiled by software provider Epos Now.

Pubs were hoping Euro 2016 and the Queen's 90th birthday would help drive sales growth in the second quarter, after sales fell one per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

Drinking spots in the UK might fare better than bars in Marseille, where the Euro 2016 tournament, after the French government said yesterday it would ban alcohol at match zones.

Read more: How to do things differently in the pub industry

Jacyn Heavens, founder of Epos Now, said:

Given that average takings for a summer weekend are typically high anyway, these increases underline the huge level of interest in Euro 2016 across the UK and highlight the tremendous power of live football as a revenue driver for pubs.

Looking ahead to the rest of Euro 2016, Epos Now has said it expects the momentum to continue with weeknight drinking when England and Wales face each other this Thursday. The average UK pub can expect a 21 per cent surge on its usual takings for a Thursday in June.

If Wales win, Cardiff pub takings would surge 32 per cent surge on their evening sales for a typical Thursday in June, although Epos Now has calculated London pubs would only witness a nine per cent increase in the result of an England victory.