Speaking at the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s MA250 conference in Liverpool last week Hansen said: “It would be extremely helpful for the sector if the government stopped treating it like a cow to be milked for cash. A reduction in the VAT and tax burden carried by the industry would be a helpful if unlikely step.”
He also said that bank finance needs to become more readily available to operators. But said that growing calls by politicians for the banks to hold more cash to protect them from the next market crash is stifling this lending.
Improved trading trends are crucial in terms of fostering buyer confidence, Hansen argued. He highlighted the strength of the eating out market in the pub sector and said that the slow down in beer volume declines are all having an impact.
However, he issued a note of caution. “Sellers will need to remain realistic about prices. The current environment is a world apart from the pre-crash era between 2004 and 2006, which saw heady multiples being paid. But the trading trends are, at long last, heading in the right direction, which will help bring the market back to life.”