Taxes hit UK beer sales
26th July, 2011 by Alan Lodge
Rising taxes have been blamed for a near-10% fall in UK beer sales in the second quarter of 2011.
The January VAT rise followed by a 7.2% increase in beer duty in the latest Budget negated any boom in sales which resulted from the royal wedding as the depressing Q2 figures contributed to a 7.1% decline in sales in the year to June.
The figures are revealed in the British Beer and Pub Associationâ€™s (BBPA) latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer â€“ the industry survey of beer sales.
The survey shows that in the second quarter of 2011, beer sales fell by 9.8% with sales in supermarkets and shops down 15% and pub sales down 4.5%.
According to the Association, pub sales in April and May were boosted due to the royal wedding and a spate of bank holidays, but the cumulative impact of tax rises â€“ equating to 10 pence per pint in pubs â€“ in Q2 severely dampened any positive impact.
The BBPA also pointed out that this yearâ€™s comparator had been hit by the â€œWorld Cup effectâ€ which boosted sales in both pubs and supermarkets in Q2 last year.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: â€œBeer sales are a barometer of Britainâ€™s economic confidence.Â With last yearâ€™s sales figures benefiting from the World Cup effect, which has historically boosted sales, sustaining volumes was always a challenge.
â€œThe royal wedding gave a welcome boost to this quarterâ€™s beer sales, but beer tax rises are now hitting our brewers hard and undermining recovery.
â€œWe warned the chancellor that further beer tax rises would hinder job growth in our sector. Duty increases are fuelling inflation and stifling investment.
â€œTaxing beer fairly would create thousands of new jobs and substantial extra tax revenues at a time when we are all looking for private-sector led recovery.â€