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Upbeat January for on-trade as lfl sales up 7.2%

Published:  12 February, 2014

The on-trade had a relatively upbeat start to the year, with like-for-like sales up 7.2% on a snow-hit 2013.

Although this year much of the UK was affected by flooding and record levels of rain, total sales were ahead 10.1%, according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

The tracker, which records sales from 27 of the country's top on-trade operators, also posted like-for-likes up 3.3% in the six weeks to January 4.

"Although January was the wettest on record and parts of the country have been severely hit by floods, the wet weather hasn't stopped people going out in the same way that the snow and freezing conditions across the country last January kept people at home. Last January sales fell 2.4% against the same month in 2012," said Peter Martin of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with the Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS. 

"Operators outside of London felt the biggest benefit, with like-for-likes up 7.5% against 6.6% inside the M25," Martin added. "While all parts of the market performed better than last year, eating-out benefitted more than drinking out, with pub restaurant and casual dining chains together seeing a 8.4% like-for-like uplift."

The Coffer Peach Tracker collects and analyses data from 27 leading pub, restaurant and bar groups. Looking at the longer term trend, collective like-for-like sales for the group for the 12 months up to the end of January were running at 2.4% ahead of the previous year.

David Coffer, chairman of the Coffer Group, said: "These figures reflect a continuing positive feeling that we are seeing throughout the sector. It is particularly heartening to see the growth outside the M25, which affirms the progressive confidence in the suburbs and provinces from operators with less dependence upon the Greater London area. January's figures indicate that we, as an industry, are coming out of recession fully - 2014 continues to look promising as a result."