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Pub and restaurant sales dip by 1.7%

Published:  14 November, 2012

Pub and restaurant sales dipped in October with collective like-for-like sales down 1.7% on the same month last year, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Later school half-term holidays were blamed for the fall off as the period is usually a busy week for eating out. While total sales were up 1.6%, reflecting continued new outlet openings by the leading operators, figures were still behind the current year-on-year growth trend.

Regionally, the Coffer Peach figures showed the London market trading stronger than outside the M25 during October, with pubs doing particularly well.

Peter Martin of Peach Factory, who producers the report in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS, said: "School half terms, usually a good week for eating-out sales, were generally a week later this year. In many parts of the country they fell within the November sales period, hence the dip in October numbers against last year. The benefit will not be seen until the next set of figures."

Bad weather at the end of September also had an impact on recent figures holding back sales growth in the previous month, with collective like-for-likes up just 0.7% which followed a 2.1% like-for-like increase for the sector in August.

However, underlying figures for the 12 months to the end of September show combined total sales for the 25 companies providing data for the Tracker were up 5.7% on the previous 12 months, with combined year-on-year like-for-likes running ahead 1.5%.

Martin added: "That gives a more accurate picture of the health of the eating and drinking-out market. There is modest like-for-like growth, but the chains are continuing to expand total sales by opening new sites and that way are gaining market-share.

"It reminds us that just like the weather, holiday periods remain a major influence on trading patterns for the eating and drinking out sector."

Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: "These are relatively solid in the context of the half term break falling in November this year. In a challenging economic environment leisure and hospitality continues to be a resilient sector. Institutional investors see the sector as an asset class in its own right. In comparison with retail and its many failures, hospitality is more defensive and does not suffer from competition from the internet. We expect to see stronger numbers to the end of the year."

The Coffer Peach Tracker industry sales monitor for the UK pub and restaurant sector collects and analyses monthly performance data from 25 operating groups.