The City Pub Group, owner and operator of 42 pubs across southern England and Wales, has announced that its like-for-like sales have recovered faster than predicted, with sales last month 5% ahead of May 2019.
Last week's trade – which included the Jubilee bank holiday celebrations – was particularly strong, with like-for-like sales up by more than 20% on 2019.
"Whilst this is clearly a one-off event, it was great to see customers coming back to our pubs in force," the group said.
The business's new all-day trading concept, Damson and Wilde in Bury St Edmunds, is expected to open next week, while the Nest in Bath is anticipated to open in August.
In a trading update, City Pub Group said it was seeking ways to mitigate cost inflation, with particular focus on labour scheduling to maximise sales and efficiency. Control of energy usage and procurement was also a key focus from both environmental and cost perspectives. Despite this, the group said it was on track to meet expectations for the year.
Clive Watson (pictured), executive chairman of the City Pub Group, said: "We continue to see our sales growth reflecting the quality of our pubs and customer offering. With a strong foundation to build on, and momentum that has been created through investment in – and opening of – our development sites, we look forward to an uninterrupted summer's trading for the first time in two years.
"Despite the macro economic headwinds, recent openings, tight cost control and a low net debt position leave us well positioned to continue to develop our business both organically and through selective high-quality acquisitions during the rest of the year as opportunities arise."