Televising the Euro 2016 championship gave pub groups something to celebrate in June, despite England dropping out before the last rounds of the tournament.
Like-for-like sales at pubs grew two per cent year-on-year in June, ahead of the restaurant sector, where growth trailed slightly behind at 1.4 per cent, according to the latest monthly figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which monitors sales at bars, pubs and restaurants across the UK.
This was especially pronounced at drink-led pubs and bars, which grew 3.8 per cent over the month.
London pubs and bars also had a much tougher month than the rest of Britain, reversing the situation in May when London outperformed the rest of the country. Like-for-like sales inside the M25 were up just 0.1 per cent in June, against 2.5 per cent outside.
Later school holidays provide a boost
Aside from the trading boost from sports, total like-for-like sales among the 33 companies tracked by the Coffer Peach monitor were up 1.8 per cent on June 2015, when the later school holiday proved to be a boost for both pubs and restaurants.
Companies such as Harvester owner Mitchells & Butlers, Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group, Wagama, Young's and Giraffe are among those tracked in the monthly data.
"The later school half-term break, which this year fell in June against May in 2015, was a big factor in the improved performance, having had a corresponding negative impact last month," Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, said.
"The truth is that the eating and drinking out market remains sluggishly slow with underlying growth of only around one per cent year-on-year."
Total sales for the month among the 33 companies in the Tracker cohort were up 5.7 per cent on June 2015, reflecting the fact that groups are still opening new sites, especially outside of London.
"As for the impact of the Brexit vote, July figures will give a clearer picture, but early indications from our weekly data suggest little difference either way, although that might be down to the weather," Martin added.