Warm weather aids Spirit Pub

SPIRIT Pub Company’s like-for-like sales were up 2.6 per cent in the six weeks to the end of May, as drinkers returned to the pubs following a cold start to the year.

Like-for-like sales were down 3.8 per cent in the preceding six weeks, the firm said in an update yesterday, blaming the chilly weather in March and April.

Spirit Pub said it was confident that it will meet its fourth quarter targets and also expects a further rise in sales due to the completion of major refurbishments in 64 pubs.

“A mixed [quarter] means the risk to forecasts is firmly on the downside,” said analysts at Peel Hunt, which has a ‘buy’ rating on Spirit’s shares. “While this is likely to colour short-term sentiment, we remain positive that there is real underlying progress in the business and that the margin opportunity is significant.”