Beer sales fell by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, according to the British Beer & Pub Association.
The latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer revealed that both the on and off-trade showed a decline of 3.8 per cent for the period. However, the decline of sales in pubs has slowed, following an 8.8% fall in the same period in 2010. This is the lowest first quarter decline since 2005.
The BBPA predicts that the good weather over Easter, and the extended bank holiday season may help the second quarter figures.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “Taken together, the fall in sales, and the impact of the Budget shows sales in the sector are still fragile.
However, the on-trade’s performance relative to the off trade has improved – and quarter two will be helped by the bank holiday bonanza and the good weather.
“While it’s a pity that any recovery will be undermined by the huge tax hike, we still must make the most of the bank holiday season, and enjoy a celebratory beer or two in the nation’s pubs in the coming days.”