PUB and restaurant groups managed a 2.9 per cent year-on-year increase in sales in December despite poor weather, fewer Christmas parties and price hikes ahead of the VAT increase this month. However, the increase was lower than the 4.7 per cent total like-for-like growth in 2009.
Mark Sheehan from Coffer Group, which published the figures, said: “The increases are perhaps lower than might have been expected. They do not compare favourably with the recently released retail like-for-likes from the British Retail Consortium and [accountancy firm] KPMG of 4.3 per cent, for example.”
Jonathan Leinster at UBS said: “The results for December bode well for January trading updates. We expect most managed pub restaurants will have had meaningful growth.”