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

Managed groups enjoy YOY December growth

Published:  18 January, 2024

Britain’s top hospitality groups generated year-on-year sales growth of 8.8% in December, the latest CGA RSM Hospitality Business Tracker reveals.

The strong results come amid a backdrop of doom and gloom for the hospitality industry – in the year to September 2023, the number of licensed premises in Britain fell by 3.6%, below the 100,000 mark for the first time since figures began.

However, managed groups, specifically, fared well in 2023, achieving like-for-like growth in every month. December’s figure is a sharp increase from 4% in November and more than double the current rate of inflation in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

The tracker reveals like-for-like sales growth of 9.6% for pubs in December, while restaurants enjoyed an 8.3% upswing. Bars bounced back from a long run of negative figures with growth of 5.6%. Trading in the ‘On The Go’ segment – a new category for venues with limited dine-in space with an emphasis on ‘grab and go’ food was 3.1% ahead.

For the 12th time in the last 13 months, growth in London was higher than elsewhere. Groups’ sales within the M25 in December were 11.2% up on last year, compared to an 8.1% increase outside it.

Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA by NIQ, said: “December’s tracker numbers show the enduring appeal of pubs, bars and restaurants over the festive season. They are a welcome sign that pressure on consumers’ spending may be easing, and the extra revenue is vital to groups as we enter quieter trading months. However, cost and labour issues mean some businesses remain under severe pressure. All operators will need to stay resolutely focused on the fundamentals of great hospitality in order to sustain real-terms growth throughout 2024.”

Meanwhile, Drake and Morgan (D&M), the managed group operating 17 premium bars and restaurants in London and Manchester, announced record festive trading with like-for-like sales up 31.7% against the same period in 2022 (4 weeks to 31 December 2023).

The results come one month after the restaurant group, backed by Bowmark Capital, reported record bookings for Christmas 2023, up 20% across the estate on the year previous.

Both Manchester and London achieved double-digit growth in terms of sales for D&M, with the former being less impacted by the rail strikes.