Strong festive trading was concentrated into the final two weeks of the Christmas period, according to the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales increase 1.8% over the six-week Christmas and New Year period to 3 January. Drink-led pub and bar businesses were the strongest performers, with 3.1% growth in like-for-like sales during that time. However most of the uplift came in the last two weeks of the festive season, when like-for-like sales were up by over 4.5% on 2014 in each week. Like-for-like sales for the whole 12 months of 2015, up to the end of December, were ahead 1.5% on 2014.
The Coffer Peach Tracker collects and analyses monthly performance data from 30 UK pub and restaurant operating groups.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, one of the groups that produces the tracker, said: 'Although the overall 1.8% increase over the entire period was less than the 2.8% increase seen last year on 2013, it is still a generally performance, as the market as a whole has slowed since last year.'
Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: 'Restaurant and pub groups reported another bumper festive period with very strong growth even against good like-for-like’s in 2014.
'However, looking ahead we do predict a tougher 2016 with a marked downturn in consumer confidence and strong competition in the sector from the many expanding restaurant, bar and pub groups. Notwithstanding, overall we continue to expect growth ahead of inflation in most parts of the country and the various sub sectors.'