Volumes steady as pubs experience best third quarter in a decade
THE on-trade enjoyed its strongest summer for beer sales in a decade this year, according to new figures from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).
The trade group’s quarterly Beer Barometer, which measures sales of beer across the UK on and off-trades, revealed that although sales dipped by 1.2% in volume terms in pubs between the third quarter of 2012 and quarter three of this year, the decline was considerably smaller than the first two quarters of the year and the strongest third quarter performance since 2003.
According to the report, more than three and a half million barrels of beer were sold in Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants between July and September of this year, a slight increase on the second quarter of the year and more than 500,000 barrels more than in quarter one.
In the off-trade, however, beer sales increased 12.5% in the third quarter of the year, to around 3.6 million barrels.
Overall, British beer volumes grew 5.2%, to 7.2m barrels, between the third quarter of 2012 and quarter three of this year.
The BBPA attributed the strong performance to particularly warm weather over the summer months, as well as an increased sense of optimism after chancellor George Osborne axed the beer duty escalator as part of this year’s Budget.
The organisation, which represents brewers and pub companies across the UK, also credited the recently launched Let There Be Beer advertising campaign for helping to boost sales.
There is still a way to go but with a fairer tax regime we can build for future success.
A joint initiative between international brewers SAB Miller, Carlsberg, AB InBev, Heineken and Molson Coors, the campaign aims to promote the beer category as a whole, encouraging consumers to “rediscover what’s great about beer”. The BBPA has backed the activity, along with CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
“After many years of disappointing figures it’s great to see a great British product reporting such a strong third quarter performance,” said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.
“There is a still a way to go, but with increased investment and a fairer tax regime, we can build for future success.
“With the beer duty escalator cancelled by George Osborne, and tax revenues up, there is a real opportunity, if we have another freeze next year.”
The trade group claims beer sales help support more than a million jobs across the country, as well as contributing £8 billion in tax revenues each year. It said the strong third quarter performance this year will have generated an additional £16m in duty, compared to the third quarter of 2012.