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Jubilee boost helps City Pub Group sales exceed targets

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The Nell Gwynne Tavern in Covent Garden, one of City Pub Group’s locations (City Pub Group/PA)
The Nell Gwynne Tavern in Covent Garden, one of City Pub Group’s locations (City Pub Group/PA)

City Pub Group has said it was boosted by a “particularly strong” Jubilee weekend as sales rebounded beyond expectations.

The company, which runs 42 pubs across southern England and Wales, saw shares improve on Wednesday after it revealed that like-for-like sales increased by 5% in May compared with pre-pandemic levels, surpassing targets.

It said like-for-like sales were up 20% last week against pre-pandemic levels from 2019 as it was buoyed by the four-day bank holiday.

The hospitality firm added that it has reviewed its cost base as it seeks to mitigate the impact of soaring cost inflation.

It stressed it is mindful of the current economic challenges but highlighted optimism following “strong sales momentum” over the past three months since pandemic restrictions were completely removed.

We look forward to an uninterrupted summer's trading for the first time in two years

Clive Watson, City Pub Group

City Pub said it focusing on the promotion of national and local events to attract strong future bookings, and believes this will lead to a strong performance over the second half of the year.

Executive chairman Clive Watson said: “We continue to see our sales growth reflecting the quality of our pubs and customer offering.

“With a strong foundation to build on, and momentum that has been created through investment in – and opening of – our development sites, we look forward to an uninterrupted summer’s trading for the first time in two years.

“Despite the macro-economic headwinds, recent openings, tight cost control and a low net debt position leave us well positioned to continue to develop our business both organically and through selective high-quality acquisitions during the rest of the year as opportunities arise.”

Shares in the company were 2.9% higher at 96.2p after early trading on Wednesday.

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