Pub group Young’s has said that the cost of inflation weighing on the hospitality sector is “starting to ease” and the company which runs 227 pubs said sales have risen by almost a fifth over the year to 3 April.
Like for like sales rose by 4.8% since April as the Easter and bank holiday offset lack of sales in Spring.
Simon Dodd, chief executive of Young’s, said, “It’s been a good start to the new financial year with sunny weather over Easter and the early May bank holiday.
“There is also huge excitement for the Rugby World Cup later this year.”
Young’s said that revenues were up by 19.4% to £368.9 million in the year to April and pre-tax profits fell by 14% to £36.2 million.
Dodd added, “Our performance last year was even more impressive given the cost headwinds facing the industry, and we are encouraged that some of these pressures are starting to ease.”
He said that they have seen food price easing, saying, “We have seen food cost inflation at around 12% but that is definitely softening and we are hoping that will come down to single digits in the next six months.”
Analysts from Stifel said: “Profit before tax has surpassed the previous peak, putting Young’s in stark contrast to pub peers still 30-60% behind their pre-pandemic profit base.
“Current trading is solid and consensus expectations for full-year 2023/24 profit before tax look well set at this stage.”