MARKET REPORT: Cheers Ma’am! Platinum Jubilee boosts pub sales 20%

Two of Britain’s top hospitality groups are celebrating the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The City Pub Group, which runs 42 pubs in southern England and Wales, hailed ‘particularly strong’ sales last week as the bank holiday pushed like-for-like trade up by more than 20 per cent against 2019.

It said: ‘Whilst this is clearly a one-off event, it was great to see customers coming back in force.’

The City Pub Group, which runs 42 pubs in southern England and Wales, hailed ‘particularly strong’ sales last week as the bank holiday pushed like-for-like trade up by more than 20%

City Pub Group, which employs around 900 staff, said the boost came after a better-than-expected May when sales were 5 per cent ahead of pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The bar owner said it was aware of inflationary pressure but insisted it now has ‘strong sales momentum’ following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

Clive Watson, executive chairman, said it looks forward to an ‘uninterrupted summer’s trading for the first time in two years’.

Analysts at Liberum reiterated a ‘buy’ rating as shares rose 3.2 per cent, or 3p, to 96.5p.

Investors in Fulham Shore also had much to cheer. Shares climbed 1.8 per cent, or 0.25p, to 14.5p after the owner of Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants said it was serving more than 140,000 customers a week at the two chains.

Fulham Shore hailed the return of tourists to London and other cities but cautioned over the slower recovery at its restaurants in more office-based locations.

It said sales were in line with expectations in April and May, and that it has raised prices and renegotiated rents to offset ‘industry-wide cost pressures’.

Stock Watch – Itaconix

Shares in Itaconix plunged after a sharp fall in revenue and increased losses.

The firm, which makes ingredients used in soap, hair styling gel and dishwasher detergent, said demand has been hit following the end of the pandemic.

Revenues fell to £2.1million last year from £2.6million in the previous 12 months.

The group also said that its losses had widened from £790,920 to £1.3million.

Shares were down by 12.8 per cent, or 0.7p, to 4.75p.

Fulham Shore has opened ten restaurants in the last 12 months and plans 18 more in the next financial year. 

With Britain’s economy forecast to become one of the worst performing among the G20 next year, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 per cent, or 5.93 points, to 7593 while the FTSE 250 fell 0.4 per cent, or 88.44 points, to 20,310.9.

Industrial software group Aveva pulled away from the rest of the top flight index on the back of its full-year results, reporting a 44.5 per cent rise in revenue to £1.2billion after its purchase of the Osisoft business.

But it racked up losses of £6.5million, having made a profit of £36.6million the previous year. It also raised its final dividend by 4.3 per cent, to 24.5p per share, sending the stock up 10.7 per cent, or 238p, to 2468p.

Heading in the other direction was Royal Mail, down 5.2 per cent, or 15.9p, to 291.4p, its lowest level since November 2020.

It has been relegated from the FTSE 100 having seen its shares tumble as demand for parcel deliveries eases following the end of the pandemic. It will join the FTSE 250 later this month.

In the second tier, defence group Chemring said the delay in passing the US Department of Defence budget hit dealings with government departments and securing orders. Its shares fell by 4.6 per cent, or 17p, to 329p.

It was a good day for Safestyle (up 3.9 per cent, or 1.7p, to 44.9p) as it revealed revenues in the first four months rose 6.7 per cent compared with a year earlier. 

In its interim results, the window and door firm hailed its TV advert, which starred England goalkeeping legend David Seaman, for lifting growth.

Workspace fell 3.7 per cent, or 27p, to 695p despite improved revenues and profits as the office space provider was boosted by an end to lockdown restrictions.

Net rental income rose 6.4 per cent to £86.7million, as more people and businesses sought offices and it posted annual profits of £124million, after losing £235.7million the previous year.

Polling company YouGov was flat at 1210p, after it pushed back against allegations that it suppressed a poll. 

Former employee Chris Curtis claimed this occurred because the results were ‘too positive about Labour’ in the run-up to the 2017 general election.