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Further fall for UK beer sales

Days after the latest alcohol duty rise, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has published figures showing that UK beer sales are in significant decline. 

The first quarter of 2009 saw total beer sales fall by 8.2% compared with the same period last year. This marks the highest first quarter fall since 1997. The UK Beer Barometer, which compiled the figures, highlighted that 326 million fewer pints were sold across the country compared with the first quarter a decade ago.

The off-trade endured a particularly poor quarter, with sales falling by 11%. These latest results mark the third consecutive quarter of decline for the sector.

Falling sales are also having a very real impact on government duty revenues. Despite an 18% increase in that time, income from duty in January and February was down £17 million on the same period in 2008.

David Long, chief executive of the BBPA commented on the findings: “With the Budget last week, government tax policy continues to make this situation worse, despite widespread public and political support for the BBPA/CAMRA Axe the Beer Tax – Save the Pub campaign.”

Gabriel Savage, 28.04.09

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