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Pub and restaurant sales jump 4.6% in March

Published:  22 April, 2014

Sales at the UK's largest pub and restaurant groups rose 4.6% on a like-for-like basis in March, compared to the same month in 2013, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Total sales grew 7.1% on the same period last year, marking 12 consecutive months of growth for the sector.

The Tracker collates data from 27 of the country's major leisure groups including Mitchells & Butlers, Whitbread, Carluccio's, Gaucho and Giraffe.

"Much of the increase can be put down to significantly better weather this March than last," said Peter Martin of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS.

What's more, Martin pointed out that March 2013 included the start of the Easter weekend, while the benefits of a sunny bank holiday weekend will be felt in April this year.

London operators saw like-for-like sales inside the M25 grow 7.3%, versus 3.4% elsewhere.

Looking at the long-term trend, year-on-year like-for-like sales for the Tracker sample are 2.4% up for the 12 months to the end of March, with total sales running 5.1% ahead.

Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure said: "With the retail sector in disarray this is a positive growth story - 12 months of like for like growth is a clear demonstration that the eating and drinking out market is in long term growth. Not only in London and in traditional leisure destinations is there growth but across the board. Restaurants and bars are starting to breathe life into regional high streets up and down the country. This is a sector with innovation and tremendous prospects."