New figures showing a rise in the number of pubs and clubs with 24-hour licences has been labeled misleading by one trade chief.
The survey by research firm Sweet & Maxwell showed a 50% rise in on licences across the past two years, from 637 in March 2008 to 946 in March 2010.
Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers head of communications Kate Nicholls said it's a small sample, based on Government figures published in September, so the percentage increases aren't reliable.
It may also be that a more accurate picture on licensing is emerging over the past two years because more local authorities are providing data.
Nicholls added that merely having a 24-hour licence doesn't mean a venue will use it, and over half of all licensing authorities have no 24-hour pub or bar licences at all.
She added that of the 4% of licensed premises with a 24-hour licence, the overwhelming majority are from hotels (56%) and supermarkets (23%).
Nicholls said: "This report paints a misleading picture of the way in which pubs and bars are currently operating and misunderstands the dynamics in the market.
"Fewer than 1% of pubs and bars have a 24 hour licence and even fewer of them trade throughout that period.
"In fact, over half of all councils will have no pubs and bars with a 24 hour licence. The figures have to be put in context rather than presented in an alarmist way to imply that large numbers of outlets are trading throughout the night."
She added: "The real story behind these statistics is the significant and dramatic increase in the number of supermarkets and off licences licensed to sell alcohol all day, every day.
"This has jumped by more than 80% since 2007 and has resulted in the ready access to large quantities of alcohol at pocket money prices which we know is fueling problem drinking."