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Hospitality has a happy Christmas as sector leads consumer spending growth

By Emma Eversham+ , 11-Jan-2016
Last updated on 11-Jan-2016 at 16:33 GMT2016-01-11T16:33:06Z

Hospitality saw the biggest growth in consumer spending in December
Hospitality saw the biggest growth in consumer spending in December

Hotels, restaurants and pubs led the rise in consumer spending growth in the UK in December according to Visa’s Consumer Spending Index.

Spend in December in the hospitality sector rose 8.1 per cent on the previous month and was almost 6 per cent higher than the average spending growth of 2.3 per cent from all eight sectors monitored by Markit for Visa. 

Companies so far reporting a successful Christmas include the 13-strong pub group Oakman Inns, restaurant group D&D London and dining pub with rooms business Eatdrinksleep.

Oakman Inns founder and chief executive Peter Borg-Neal reported record Christmas trading across its sites where like-for-like sales for the four weeks ending 3 January were up 11.8 per cent on the previous year with total sales up 55 per cent to £2.1m.

He said: “We got up a very good head of steam going into the Christmas trading period and had put a lot of work into getting our Christmas offer spot-on. As a result we were hopeful of a good outcome but our performance has been at the upper end of our expectations.

“The 13 pubs in the Oakman Collection have averaged well over £40k net per site per week. In addition to the excellent performance from the core estate our 2015 acquisitions also did very well with The White Hart, Ampthill being a star performer.”

Eatdrinksleep, operator of The Felin Fach Griffin near Brecon and The Old Coastguard and The Gurnard’s Head in Cornwall, saw sales rise 17.3 per cent across the group in December with The Old Coastguard leading the way with turnover up 19 per cent.

Occupancy across all three sites was at 85.1 per cent from October to December with occupancy at 96.6 per cent for The Felin Fach Griffin. Joint owner Edmund Inkin said staff had made huge progress' in attracting guests outside of peak season. 

D&D London, which opened new restaurant German Gymnasium and re-opened Sartoria on Savile Row in December, said like-for-like sales in December across its UK business rose 4.2 per cent with strong performances in particular from Quaglino's, Avenu, Madison, Coq d'Argent and Paternoster Chop House. 

The group said sales of luxury items such as Champagne, smoked salmon and beef fillet had grown more than 20 per cent.  

D&D London chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena said: “It was good to see strong Christmas trading across the group. As we reported last year, growth in revenues came from both the City and West End restaurants. We were particularly pleased with 4 per cent underlying like for like sales growth given the strong prior year comparative." 

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