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UK on-trade sees festive sales rise

Published:  13 January, 2012

The 1,600-strong Mitchells & Butlers group sold 300,000 more glasses of wine in the four weeks leading up to Christmas than in 2010, illustrating the on-trade had a good time overall.

According to a survey by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, 53% of operators said like-for-like food and drink sales were up 10% or more in the three-week festive period, with 95% of respondents saying trade was up year on year.

Joan Torrents, M&B's group wine director, said: "Although milder weather last December compared with the previous year might have helped to grow sales, there has been a real push to maximise opportunities."

Sparkling led the field at M&B, with sales rising 30% last year, fuelled by "the trendy Prosecco and fruit-driven sparkling wines from tank method (Pignoletto)". Its Nicholson's outlets saw Pignoletto and Prosecco sales jump by 143%.

Searcys, which operates five Champagne bars across London, said sales were up 20% on last year. Michelle Cartwright, concept development manager, said: "Size seems to matter, all the larger bottle formats sold really well, particularly Magnums, Jeroboams and Methuselahs."

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