'Supermarkets bearing brunt of fall in beer consumption'

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Related tags: Pub operators, Public house, Beer, Alcoholic beverage, Punch taverns, Pub association

"It will be of small comfort to pub operators that their bête noire, the supermarkets, which undercut them with deep discounting on popular lagers,...

"It will be of small comfort to pub operators that their bête noire, the supermarkets, which undercut them with deep discounting on popular lagers, is feeling the brunt of the fastest rate of decline in beer drinking since Labour came to power in 1997. Next week's figures from the British Beer and Pub Association will show a double-digit decline in beer sales in supermarkets and off licences for the first time. That is almost double the rate of decline in pubs." - Financial Times

"Last week's fundraising by Greene King, the brewer, will be followed by others in the pubs trade in the coming weeks. As we report on the front page today, 3i, the private equity group, is keen to join them. Throw in a £5bn rights issue from Diageo if it secures a deal to buy the champagne assets of LVMH and you're quickly at the point where others in need of capital will be in serious danger of missing the boat." - Daily Telegraph

"Cash-strapped Punch Taverns will this week reveal plans for a radical but cut-price makeover of up to a quarter of its managed pubs including the launch of a new carvery pub format in the hope of closing the performance gap with rival Mitchells & Butlers. The turnaround plan has been masterminded by Mike Tye, Punch's new head of its Spirit Group managed arm. If Tye's plans are a success he stands to make up to nine times his base salary in bonuses and incentive payouts - a pay package about which more than a third of voting shareholders signalled their disapproval in January." - Observer

"Punch Taverns is believed to have raised more than £80m from pub sell-offs in recent months. The company is expected to reveal the figure when it announces its half-year results this week. Disposal proceeds will be used to repay a £200m convertible bond that is due at the end of next year." - Sunday Times

"By giving English pubs an Award for Excellence, Enjoy England are papering over the cracks on a building set for demolition, says Paul Moody, co-author of the Rough Pub Guide. 'In a climate where landlords are struggling to stay in business, it strikes me that this award is, at best, badly timed and, at worst, wildly inappropriate. Any visitor to these shores expecting to encounter booming local pubs staffed by rosy-cheeked landlords are in for a shock. They're more likely to find a "For Sale" sign.'" - Guardian

"Looking forward to a nice, sunny weekend?", asks Fiona Phillips. "Maybe popping down the pub for a drink? A family get-together? A tasty, reasonably-priced meal? Good luck. Since last year's budget, more than 2,000 pubs have shut their doors for the last time, resulting in more than 20,000 job losses. Pubs are now closing at a record rate of 39 a week, almost six every day. The latest assault on the pub trade came in Wednesday's Budget when the Chancellor dealt another savage blow by slapping more duty on beer and wine, the stuff publicans have to sell in order to pay staff, rent, business rates and tax. Mr Chancellor - a message for you from publicans up and down the country: You're barred!" - The Mirror

Former Enterprise Inns licensee Marc Buffery locked horns with the pubco's chief executive Ted Tuppen in a debate over the economics of the pub trade. Buffery accused Enterprise of forcing him out of business by imposing what he described as impossible conditions on his tenancy, claims Tuppen rejected. - Financial Times

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