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World Cup boosts pub drink sales, but food suffers

Published:  17 July, 2014

The World Cup provided a 2.4% sales boost for wet-led pubs, but branded restaurants faced flat sales while pub restaurants saw revenues slide compared to June last year.

That's according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which collects data from 28 managed operator groups - it shows overall like-for-like sales increased just 0.4% on 2013.

World Cup football matchFootball fans watch England World Cup matchThe World Cup boosted the coffers of wet-led pubs, but sales of food faltered.

"The World Cup may have helped drink sales in pubs, but it did little for the eating out market," said Peter Martin of CGA Peach, which produces the Tracker in partnership with Coffer Group, Baker Tilly and UBS.

"Overall, drink-led managed pubs saw like-for-like sales up 2.4% on June last year, with drink sales ahead 2.8% and food essentially flat. The biggest boost came in the week of England's first match, when LFLs in drink-led pubs and bars were up 10.9%. The following week, LFLs were ahead 3.7%," added Martin.

England's early departure saw the market fall back into balance, after the first two weeks had seen eating out revenues take a nosedive of between 3% and 5%. Martin said that while "big set-piece events" boost part of the market, "the overall effect on eating and drinking out is much more muted".

London pubs saw like-for-like sales up 1.6%, while outside the M25 sales fell 0.3% on June 2013. Total sales, which include the impact of new openings, were up 3.1% across the country.

Looking longer term, year-on-year like-for-like sales were up 2.7% for the 12 months to the end of June, and total sales up 5.4%.

Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: "These results are positive, especially considering the eating-out market had to contend with sport on television every night from June 13 onwards. While pubs had a short term boost from England's brief appearance, for them too it was a challenging month.  A 15th consecutive month of growth shows the underlying resilience of the eating and drinking-out markets as we look forward to a strong period of further growth."