On-trade losses slowed in Q3

On-trade losses slowed in Q3

Strong off-trade growth has seen UK beer sales take their biggest quarterly leap this century while on-trade losses slowed, new figures have shown.

Total beers sales in the three months to the end of September rose by 5.2%, or 103m pints, according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s quarterly Beer Barometer, published today (31 October). Off-trade sales were up by 12.5% over the same period, their biggest increase in a decade, but on-trade sales in the third quarter dropped by 1.2%.

The on-trade fall, which follows a 5.8% drop in the second three months of the year, is still the sector's most favourable third-quarter performance since 2003, the trade body said. Off-trade sales in Q2 were down by 3.6%.

The BBPA's chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, praised the figures, calling on UK authorities to again freeze increases on beer taxes after Chancellor George Osborne abolished the duty escalator on beer in March. The escalator, introduced in 2008, saw duty rates on alcohol increase automatically by 2% above inflation per year, on top of additional rises. The escalator has been kept in place on wine, spirits and cider. 

Simmonds said: “After many years of disappointing figures it’s great to see a great British product reporting such a strong third quarter performance. There is a still a way to go, but with increased investment and a fairer tax regime, we can build for future success.”