Beer Duty / General / 31 October 2013

Big boost for British beer, as Q3 sales rise by 5.2 per cent

  • Total beer sales up 5.2 per cent – 103 million pints of beer
  • Pub beer sales down 1.2 per cent
  • Big boost for off trade, with sales up 12.5 per cent

UK beer sales rose by 5.2 per cent in the third quarter – the biggest quarter-on-quarter increase this century, according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s latest Beer Barometer, published today. The boost follows the fine summer weather, as well as optimism over the Chancellor’s popular Beer Tax cut in the March Budget, says the BBPA.

While there were some losses in the on-trade (pubs, bars and restaurants) of 1.2 per cent on the same quarter last year, it is still the most favourable on-trade third quarter since 2003. In contrast, the off-trade enjoyed a major boost, with a 12.5 per cent rise in sales – again, the best Q3 performance for this key British product in a decade.

The rise also means that Chancellor George Osborne collected £16 million more in beer taxes (duty and VAT) in the past quarter despite the two per cent cut in Beer Duty. The BBPA believes that the tax cut represents a big milestone for the industry, with renewed confidence boosting investment.

The sector’s confidence has also been boosted by Let There Be Beer – a major new industry campaign funded by the large brewers championing the entire category – the largest investment of its kind for many years.

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

“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. 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.”

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