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Wed 16th Nov 2022 - Costs crisis wipes out hospitality’s growth despite increase in October sales, London shows further recovery
Costs crisis wipes out hospitality’s growth despite increase in October sales, London shows further recovery: Sales at Britain’s top managed restaurant, pub and bar groups in October were 1.5% ahead of last year, the latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker has revealed. The tracker – produced by CGA by NielsenIQ in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM UK – also showed growth of 4.3% from October 2019 – meaning sales have beaten pre-pandemic comparatives for nine months in a row. However, with inflation now in double digits, sales are significantly behind 2021 and 2019 in real terms. Pubs were the strongest performer of the tracker’s three segments in October, with year-on-year sales growth of 6.4%. Restaurants endured a tough month with like-for-like sales down by 3.6% on October 2021, while bars’ sales slipped 12.7%. London saw further recovery from its recent rebound from more than two years of covid-related upheaval. Groups’ October sales within the M25 finished 6.4% ahead year-on-year – in sharp contrast to regions beyond the M25, where like-for-likes were up by only 0.3% from October 2021. Karl Chessell, director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA, said: “It’s been encouraging to see hospitality sales running ahead of pre-covid levels for nearly all of 2022. But after adjusting for the effect of higher prices it’s clear footfall is down, and inflation means sales are even further behind in real terms. Sustained increases in energy, food, property and other costs are putting a very tight squeeze on both consumers’ discretionary spending and operators’ profits, especially in restaurants. The sector must now pin hopes on a strong festive season to make up some of the growth that has been lost over a variety of unprecedented challenges.” Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “There is a continuing sense that sales are in the increase, certainly in city centres. While these numbers are not positive in the context of inflation they are at least improving in real terms. There is a sense particularly in London, and not withstanding strikes, trade is returning steadily.”


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