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Pubs feel the heat as beer sales drop

Published:  28 July, 2008

Pubs were dealt a further blow today (July 28) as the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) reported beers sales were down 4.5% this quarter, compared with the same quarter last year.

Pubs were dealt a further blow today (July 28) as the British Beer and PubAssociation (BBPA) reported beers sales were down 4.5% this quarter, compared with the same quarter last year.

In total, 107 million fewer pints were sold in April to June this year compared with the same quarter in 2007 - a fall of 1.2 million pints a day, the BBPA's UK Quarterly Beer Barometer showed.

Beer sales in pubs, bars and restaurants are down 10.6% over the same period.

The on-trade sold 144 million fewer pints during April to June this year compared with the same quarter in 2007 - down 1.6 million pints a day.

The BBPA claim the figures add more weight to growing concerns over pub closures, the impact of rising prices and shrinking consumer confidence.

In just three short months, the BBPA estimates the Treasury has collected £88 million less in beer duty and VAT than in the same period last year.

Over the first half of 2008, beer sales are down by 2.9% compared with the same period in 2007 - sales in pubs, bars and restaurants are down 9.6%, while sales in supermarkets and off-licences are up 7.4%.

Rob Hayward, BBPA chief executive said: "Beer sales are on the slide and the tax increase in the Budget has made it worse. This is hitting Britain's brewers and pubs hard.

"With around one million jobs reliant on the trade, the loss of 1.6 million pints a day is having a serious impact, not just on the sector itself, but on the UK economy as a whole."

Figures at a glance

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