Spirit sales up 2.3% after strong Christmas
15 January, 2013
The Spirit Pub Company has turned in like for like sales growth of 2.3% across its managed estate for the 20 weeks to 5 January.
The figures provide more evidence of a solid Christmas period for the pub and restaurant sector, following upbeat reports for December from a number of operators. Spirit said its like for like sales over the Christmas period—the three weeks to 5 January—were up by 5.0%.
Spirit’s growth over the 20-week period was fuelled by food sales, which were up 3.3% compared to a 0.2% rise for drink. It claimed its managed estate was now outperforming the market, as measured by the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, with investment in new managed EPOS and back office systems having paid off.
Spirit’s leased estate was less successful, with like for like net turnover falling 2.1%, and like for like income slipping 2.9%. But a trial of franchise-style pubs had been encouraging, it said, and it continues to dispose of underperforming pubs, with eight more trimmed from the estate over the quarter.
Spirit chief executive Mike Tye said: "We have made a solid start to the year in what remain challenging trading conditions as our guests remain under considerable financial pressure. Our managed estate performance remains ahead of the market and we continue to focus on evolving our brands, offers and infrastructure to bring great value and choice to our guests. Our plans for our leased estate remain on track as we look to help our licensees to develop their retail offers which we will support with continued innovation such as our franchise trials which are now underway. We continue to perform in line with expectations and we are confident that we have the right foundations in place to realise the full potential of our business.”
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