Drinks sales see faltering recovery

NEW figures show that the alcohol industry in the UK is experiencing an “unsteady and uneven” recovery.

Latest HMRC figures show beer sales fell in July, adding to publicans’ woes. The volume of beer released for UK consumption was down 1.7 per cent compared to the figure in June and 5.1 per cent year-on-year. The amount of beer consumed in licenced premises has now fallen 25 per cent since 2002.

The volume of wine released for UK consumption was up by 0.82 per cent compared to June and 2.88 per cent year-on-year.

Spirits were down 0.4 per cent on June but were up 0.98 per cent year-on-year.

Total alcohol volumes are up 2.8 per cent year-on-year.

In value terms alcohol consumption is still well down on the peak level of £43.4bn sold in the UK in 2007.

In terms of market share, wines and ciders are increasing at the expense of beer, which fell to 41.6 per cent of all sales.