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UK Beer Sales Decline Continues But Rate Slows Further

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UK Beer Sales Decline Continues But Rate Slows Further

UK Beer Sales Decline Continues But Rate Slows Further
February 03
12:19 2012

UK beer sales continued to fall in 2011, although at a slower rate than in previous years, according to the latest UK‘Beer Barometer’, released by the British Beer & Pub Association. The BBPA says this decline could be halted – and thousands of jobs saved – if the Government abandons damaging plans for yet-more, above-inflation rises in Beer Tax in the March Budget.

Pub sales declined by 3.4 per cent in 2011, the slowest rate since 2004, but this represents 139 million fewer pints enjoyed in British pubs – a trend also linked to a slowing in the rate of pub closures, which are closely linked to the trend in beer sales. Off-trade beer sales were down 3.7 per cent over the year (136 million pints), the first time since 1996, when the European Championships were held in England, that the off-trade has put in a weaker performance than the on-trade. Total beer volumes fell by 3.5 per cent. The BBPA estimates this has led to an estimated 9,000 jobs disappearing from the sector in 2011 – mostly in B ritain’s pubs.

“The decline in beer sales has slowed, but these figures show the sector cannot afford another round of inflation-busting, Beer Tax hikes in the Budget. This will delay any potential recovery in an iconic and economically vital British industry,” comments Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association.

“A change of course, giving brewers and pubs a chance to invest and expand their operations – could create over five thousand jobs in 2012 –which should be a great year for British beer and pubs with the Queen’s Jubilee, Euro 2012, the Olympics and Paralympics. These events could provide a real boost for the UK economy and boost employment – but this will only be possible if the Government reverses planned tax increases and damaging over-regulation.”

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