Beer sales dip in second quarter
1 August, 2012
Beer sales fell by 5% in the second quarter of the year despite strong trading around the Queen’s Jubilee and Euro 2012 football tournament, new figures show.
The latest data from the British Beer and Pub Association’s Beer Barometer put sales down by 5.3% compared to the last quarter. They fell by 4.6% in the on trade and by 5.9% in the off trade, and equate to around 115 million fewer pints of beer.
Part of the fall is down to poor weather, but the BBPA pinned most of blame on punitive tax rises, including the beer duty escalator. It said falling sales were cancelling out any revenue gains from the extra taxes, with beer sales now down by 15% since the escalator was introduced. The BBPA has organized an e-petition against the taxes, which has now gathered around 68,000 signatures.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “The Chancellor can’t change the weather, but he can stop the misguided beer tax hikes that are damaging the sector and doing virtually nothing to help tackle the deficit. The very marginal rise in beer duty revenues the government is achieving is being all but wiped out by a fall in income from employment and other taxes. There is growing public concern over its effect on brewing, pubs and jobs, and we do need urgent action.”
The fall in beer sales, however, contrasts with the overall performance of leading managed pub chains, which, according to latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker data, are collectively seeing like-for-likes growth currently running at +2.5% year-on-year.