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Pub and restaurant groups’ sales recover in April after big freeze
Britain’s pub and restaurant groups returned to sales growth in April after a disastrous weather-hit March.
Latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show collective like-for-like sales edged up 0.1% against April last year, compared to the 3.0% fall seen in March.
“Last April’s figures included all of the Easter weekend. This year’s only took in Easter Monday, so the performance is actually better than the headline numbers suggest, as the Easter holiday is always a busy time for eating and drinking-out,” said Peter Martin of Peach Factory.
“The good weather at the end of the month helped to compensate for the loss of that Easter trading,” Martin added.
Total sales, including the impact of new openings, were ahead 2.8% of last April.
Regionally, London performed more strongly than the rest of the country, and pubs generally did better than restaurants – with London pubs being the star performers.
“However, the squeeze on growth we have seen on casual dining restaurant brands in London may have turned a corner. For the last six months, the trend has been one of like-for-like sales decline, but last month the annual rate turned positive, up by 0.3% on a year-on-year basis,” said Martin.
Also looking at long-term trends, he added: “Perhaps more importantly the underlying growth trend for the sector as a whole has improved.” On a year-on-year basis, collective like-for-like sales for the 27 companies in the sample were ahead 0.9% at the end of April against the previous 12 months, compared to 0.6% at the end of March.