News

Beer Duty / Brewing / General / 26 July 2013

UK beer sales down 4.8 per cent in Q2 – new ‘Beer Barometer’ from the BBPA

  • Total beer sales down 4.8 per cent in Q2 2013
  • Pub beer sales down 5.8 per cent
  • Off-trade down 3.6 per cent

UK beer sales fell by 4.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2013, according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s quarterly Beer Barometer, published today. Losses in the on-trade (pubs, bars and restaurants) were higher at 5.8 per cent. Off-trade sales also fell, but the 3.6 per cent fall was the lowest second quarter fall since 2005. The BBPA is pointing out that these latest figures are compared to a quarter last year that included Euro 2012 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and double bank holiday.

While more good weather would bring the prospect of a more promising third quarter, the figures show the continuing need for supportive tax policy from the Government, says the BBPA, following the historic two per cent cut in beer duty and abolition of the beer duty escalator in the Chancellor’s Budget. From March 2008 to March 2013, beer duty had risen by 42 per cent.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments:

“The figures clearly show that the market for one of our iconic products is still very challenging. The benefits of the beer duty tax cut, and the increased investment that this will bring to the beer and pub sector, will take time to bear fruit. Yesterday’s financial results saw brewers and pub companies stepping up investment and focusing on export markets.

“The ending of the escalator means that next year’s automatic, above-inflation tax increase has been cancelled, and quite rightly. However, the Government should continue to look for ways to help the sector.”

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