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UK beer sales struggle

UK beer sales dipped in the second quarter of 2012 despite the Jubilee and Euro 2012.

Poor weather and the impact of tax increases into the March budget failed to compensate for strong trading around the Jubilee weekend and the Euro 2012 football, new sales figures come from the British Beer & Pub Association quarterly Beer Barometer show.

On and off trade sales both struggled from April to June. Overall beer sales fell by 5.3% in the quarter compared to last year, with on trade sales down 4.6 and the off trade down 5.9%. The loss means that Britain’s beer drinkers consumed 115 million fewer pints of beer than in the same period last year.

A Government e-petition demanding an end to these punitive tax rises has already attracted over 68,000 signatures, and is racing towards the 100,000 needed to trigger a Parliamentary debate on the issue.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) also says that the 6% decline in sales means the tax hike has brought the Chancellor no extra revenues.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said, “The Chancellor can’t change the weather, but he can stop the misguided beer tax hikes that are damaging the sector and doing virtually nothing to help tackle the deficit.  The very marginal rise in beer duty revenues the Government is achieving is being all but wiped out by a fall in income from employment and other taxes.

“There is growing public concern over its effect on brewing, pubs and jobs, and we do need urgent action.”

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