Greene King became the latest in the sector to describe trading conditions as "challenging", but sales at seafood restaurant chain Loch Fyne provided relief with a 2.3% like-for-like climb during the crucial Christmas period.
Sales in its managed pub division, Greene King Retail, were down 0.1% in the 38 weeks ending 20 January but up 0.2% at its tenanted and leased pub division, Pub Partners.
Belhaven, Greene King's Scottish division, has enjoyed sales "above those of last year", with beer volumes north of the boarder jumping 5.6%.
In a statement today the company said: "Group margins remain ahead of last year despite the well-documented cost pressures being faced by the industry as a whole.
"We expect the rest of the year to remain challenging. "Nevertheless, the inherent strengths of our business, the resilience of our business model and the encouraging contributions from recent acquisitions give us confidence."
By Christopher Walton
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