Collective like-for-like sales were up 3.3 per cent on the same month last year, with total sales (including new openings) up 6.1 per cent, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker figures.
“School half-term holidays, which this year were staggered over two weeks, helped drive sales, with pub restaurants and casual dining chains doing particularly well,” said Peter Martin of Peach Factory, which produces the Tracker.
Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, added: “These figures show again that leisure is outperforming other sectors - particularly retail and especially in the regions.
“Regionally, consumers increasingly appear to have adjusted to a new normal. Those in work are managing their finances and have allocated cash to spend on nights out. We may see more stability from here regionally and have seen the worst.”
The improved trading figures for February come on the back of a poor, weather-affected first month of the year, which saw the 25 companies in the Tracker sample collectively record a 2.4 per cent drop in like-for-like sales against January 2012.