Collective like-for-like sales were up 1.6% in February, with total sales for the month up 5.8% on February last year, according to data from business insight consultancy CGA Peach.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, said: “[The sector] is showing steady but consistent growth, which illustrates the underlying strength of the market and the public’s desire to continue to go out to eat and drink.
Casual dining brands did particularly well, collectively recording a 3.4% like-for-like sales increase, including a 4.6% uplift for brands outside the M25.
Amongst managed pubs London remained home to the highest growth, with pubs and bars in the city seeing a 2.7% like-for-like boost on the same period last year.
Trevor Watson, director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “Corporate pub and restaurant operators are growing their businesses faster outside the M25 with many more openings because site availability is better.
“However, as more and more companies announce ambitious expansion plans, we are seeing more intense competition for new sites throughout the country.”
However, trading in pubs outside the M25 was largely static.