Stonegate Pub Company has reported like-for-like sales growth of 19.2% during this summer's World Cup, with the event and the hot weather prompting a huge surge in beer sales across the company's sites.
Stonegate, which own 691 sites, including the Slug & Lettuce, Walkabout and Sports Bar & Grill chains, confirmed in its Q3 results that the tournament alone delivered an incremental revenue of £11.9m.
Over the period the company sold 4.5m pints, with beer sales up by 550% during England games and an average of 44% for others. The biggest day for beer sales was England's semi-final defeat to Croatia, during which 367,000 pints were sold.
World Cup aside, the Q3 results to 1 July 2018 boasted positive numbers for the group, with 18 days of the 32-day tournament falling inside the quarter. It comes as results are filed following a difficult summer for restaurants as sports and sun prompted a sales boost for pubs and bars.
Overall, like-for-likes at Stonegate grew by 6.1%, while total revenue for the 40 weeks to the end of Q3 rose by 8.4% to £579.4m. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by 9.1% to £84.6m as the company managed to mitigate concerns over living wage rises and business rates to post strong growth.
Chief executive Simon Longbottom said: "This has been a record quarter for Stonegate with another period of continued sales, margin and profit growth, supported by strong trading over the summer and World Cup.
"This excellent performance is all the more pleasing in that it has been achieved whilst maintaining margin despite continued cost headwinds.
"Our preparation ahead of the World Cup enabled us to maximise the trading opportunity which the tournament presented.
"We aim to offer our customers the very best sporting experience, creating an atmosphere which is the next best thing to the real event.
"The Stonegate team rose to the challenge to provide an unrivalled World Cup experience in our pubs and bars up and down the country, generating exceptional sales uplift and further underpinning Stonegate's leading credentials in sports-led entertainment."