Managed pub and bar group TCG has seen its sales increase 7% over the Christmas and New Year period, according to a trading update release this morning.
The company, which runs 69 pubs and bars nationwide, said that the diversity of its estate, along with investment in capital expenditure and product promotions had enabled it to maximise seasonal sales from corporate party bookings and drinks-led celebrations.
Chief operating officer Nigel Wright said: "Our festive performance reflected investment earlier in the year. Corporate bookings, for example, were up thanks to an earlier, more structured drive to secure this business, while several of this year's capex sites enjoyed massive, even record-breaking, sales over the holiday period.
"We saw significant divergence in the sales uplift, by type of pub, by week and by region - Christmas 2013 was very much a ‘moveable feast', with the busiest sectors of the market changing as the extended festive season progressed.
"There was a definite upturn in consumer confidence this year. Whether they were in our more aspirational London venues, in young bars, high street or community pubs, there were more people going out to celebrate than there have been for some years - provided they were getting value for money."
TCG said its food-led businesses in particular had succeeded in getting parties booked in early, with strong performances from the likes of its Henry's Café bars in Covent Garden, Piccadilly and West India Quay.
Henry's Covent Garden set a new record, with sales in excess of £125,000 in the week to 22 December.
Overall, TCG saw a 10% increase in food sales across the business, with new menus launched in November.
The last Friday before Christmas was TCG's biggest Friday of the year for drink sales. Its northern businesses in particular benefited on this traditional close-down day, although the big sales uplift is starting later in the day each year.
"After ‘Mad Friday' there was a clear shift towards community local pubs, helped by both high profile sports led sessions and ‘family-and-friends' occasions, with customers typically staying closer to home," said Wright. "Among our community pubs, the Fatling in Hornchuch, Essex, which reopened in November after a £225,000 refurb, saw a site sales record of £56k during Christmas week.
"Young bars were very busy on the key nights for town centres. Venues including Norwegian Blue in Manchester, Off The Wall in Chester, the Corn Exchange in Preston and Squares in Nottingham had some massive days and nights. As well as students back home catching up with friends, there were plenty of working singles making the most of the extended break from the office.
"Inevitably, our star performer on New Year's Eve was the Tattershall Castle floating pub on the Embankment in London. Offering spectacular views of the Thames firework display, it was fully booked again with record ticket sales this year.
"Overall, our diverse range of businesses offered the very best service levels and festive hospitality, tailored to their specific local markets, which should help to ensure that many people who visited our pubs and bars this Christmas will be back for more in 2014."