July 29, 2008

Sharp Fall in PUB Sales of Beer As Shops Sell More

Beer sales have fallen sharply since last year. Total beer sales are down 4.5 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, while beer sales in pubs are down 10.6 per cent, according to the UK Quarterly Beer Barometer by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

In total 107 million fewer pints were sold in April to June this year compared with the same period last year - a fall of 1.2 million pints a day.

Beer sales in pubs, bars and restaurants fell by 144 million pints down 1.6 million pints a day.

The BBPA said the figures added weight to concerns over pub closures, the impact of rising prices and shrinking consumer confidence. It estimated the fall in sales had led to Treasury collecting Pounds 88m less in beer duty and VAT than in the same period last year.

However sales in supermarkets and shops had continued to rise, with a 3.8 per cent increase on the same quarter last year.

BBPA chief executive Rob Hayward said: "It is creating a large hole in the Chancellor's pocket. This must call into question the Government's planned beer tax escalator. Where's the logic in taxing more when you're taking less?"

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