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Beer sales plummet

Published:  28 April, 2009

The British pub is under renewed threat with the release of figures that reveal that beers sales have slumped by more than 8% over the last year.

Less than a week after Chancellor Alistair Darling announced another 2% duty hike on alcohol in the 2009 Budget, the latest figures from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) paint a bleak picture for an industry already in the grip of recession.

BBPA figures reveal that that beer sales in the first quarter of 2009 recorded the steepest slump since 1997.

The research also shows that even the off-trade sector is feeling the pinch with a sales drop of 11%.

The BBPA, the trades' biggest representative group, has warned that the falling sales are also hitting government duty revenue. It has been at the forefront of a campaign to pursuade the government to freeze duty.

BBPA chief executive, David Long, said: "These figures provide more telling evidence of the intense pressure in one of Britain's most important sectors. Falling beer sales means more publicans struggling to keep their pub doors open. Closing pubs means tens of thousands of job losses and the heart taken out of many communities."