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Thu 13th Feb 2020 - Pubs, bars and restaurants get 2020 ‘off to a decent start’ with January like-for-likes up 1.9%
Pubs, bars and restaurants get 2020 ‘off to a decent start’ with January like-for-likes up 1.9%: Britain’s managed pub, bar and restaurant sector is “off to a decent start” in 2020 with collective like-for-like sales in January up 1.9% year-on-year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Regionally, London had a tougher time but still saw like-for-likes ahead 0.7%, compared with 2.3% outside the M25. Restaurant groups saw the biggest increase in January, with like-for-likes up 2.5% driven almost entirely by strong sales outside London. Managed pubs saw like-for-like sales grow 1.7% during the month, while bar operators were up 0.9%. January’s positive results followed strong trading during the festive period, which saw collective like-for-likes up 2.5% against the previous year. Total sales for the month, which include the effect of new openings since this time last year, were ahead 4.7% compared with the same period in 2019. “Reasonably good weather, in particular the lack of snow, will have helped sales but nonetheless it’s encouraging to see the public continuing to go out to eat and drink,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM. “Underlying annual like-for-like growth for the Tracker cohort, which represents both large and small groups, was running at 1.6% at the end of January.” Trevor Watson, executive director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “To put these figures in context, last January the market saw a 1.8% drop in like-for-likes against 2018 so essentially we’re back to where we were two years ago – but it does show an underlying stability in the market despite the political climate and what has been going on in the wider economy. The eating and drinking out market is showing resilience and people’s appetite for going out remains intact. There’s a universal feeling of improved investor confidence but this has yet to translate into deal flow. This stabilised consumer confidence combined with a stronger investor mentality is likely to result in steady improvement as the year progresses. We are off to a decent start.”

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