Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Turnover up, but profits down, suggests CGA on-trade report

Published:  09 December, 2022

Footfall across the hospitality sector is up on 2019 levels in Britain’s key cities, although high inflation and rail strikes remain major concerns.

That's the key takeaway from CGA by NielsenIQ's Top Cities report, compiled by the analyst firm and connectivity business Wireless Social.

Focusing on the four weeks to 19 November, their data shows that hospitality turnover exceeded the same period in 2019 in eight of Britain’s 10 most populous cities.

Across the 10 destinations, sales growth totalled around 4%, in line with the Coffer CGA Business Tracker which shows like-for-like sales +5% higher versus 2019 levels.

Six of the 10 cities also recorded an increase in device log-ins – likely driven by the start of the festive season – but a promising sign that footfall is beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels in most cities.

However, with consumer inflation reaching 11% in October, most businesses' profits are still well behind the levels of both 2021 and 2019,” said a representative from CGA by NielsenIQ.

According to the report's authors, it combines CGA’s sales data with Wireless Social’s check-in statistics to provide a ‘vibrancy’ ranking of the top 10 cities.

At the head of the list is Manchester, with double-digit sales growth. Glasgow came in second place, followed by Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Bristol.

Interestingly, London came in last for the fourth period in a row, albeit sales and check-ins here continued to move closer to pre-pandemic levels.

“Restaurants, pubs and bars have steadily built back from Covid turmoil over the course of 2022, and these latest figures are encouraging for the key festive season,” said CGA client director Chris Jeffrey.

“The World Cup, Christmas markets and parties should all deliver good footfall and spending, but the costs crisis and prospect of more rail strikes cast a shadow over the crucial final weeks of the year. Consumers are as keen as ever to eat and drink out, but with so many challenges not of their own making, some city-centre businesses face a make-or-break Christmas.”