'Exceptional' Slug & Lettuce sales sees Stonegate’s festive like-for-likes up 5.5%

Premiumisation and cocktail sales were credited with boosting figures
04/01/2018 - 11:13
Stonegate Pub Company, operator of 701-drink led pub and bars, has reported a strong December showing across its portfolio nationwide as like-for-like sales jumped 5.5% on last year.

The growth in revenue for the four-week period to 31 December, made up of sales increases in all areas of the country, followed a similarly strong showing in 2016 when lfls rose by 5.3%.

Stonegate’s estate is made up of a number of different concepts, including the pub chains Walkabout, Yates and Slug & Lettuce, with the ‘exceptional performance’ of the latter credited with helping the rise in group sales.

Chief executive Simon Longbottom said that the festive results were boosted by customers ‘trading up’ in purchasing more premium spirits, draught, craft beers and sparkling wines, as well as strong cocktail sales.

He said: “I am delighted to report another strong festive trading period, building on the positive like for like trading momentum which Stonegate delivered in 2017. Our range of pub and bar formats and consumer propositions continue to resonate with customers and win market share, underpinning our success and confidence in our drinks-led, high street strategy.

“Encouragingly all of our trading formats performed well and it was particularly pleasing to see some of the pubs we have acquired -and invested in over the last 12 months-performing particularly strongly.

“Key trading occasions such as Christmas and New Year are becoming increasingly important in the pub retailing calendar and the entire Stonegate team delivered an outstanding experience for our customers up and down the country throughout the four week festive period.”

During 2017, Stonegate acquired a total of 21 pubs from JD Wetherspoon, Sports Bar & Grill and Faucet Inn.

The company, whose most recent financial results showed revenue of £642.6 million, was unsuccessful in its bid to purchase Revolution Bars last year.

The uplift in sales for Stonegate follows the announcement of a similarly strong festive showing from smaller pub company, Upham Pub Group.

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