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All cheers as beer sales increase

Quarterly beer sales are up on 12 months ago for the first time in four years, figures have showed.

Warm weather and the World Cup is thought to be responsible for the 2.9% increase, the first like-for-like quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2006, according to the latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer.

Pub beer sales were down 6.3% on the same period in 2009.

Sales in supermarkets and shops rose by 13.7% in the second quarter, with year-on-year sales also up by 4.4%.

The beer market is down year on year by 1.4% - a significant slowdown in the rate of decline and the best result since the second quarter of 2006.

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "The World Cup has certainly been a benefit to Britain's beer sector and we can now hope that the market is starting to turn a corner.

"However, while there is some reason for cheer, it has to be noted that beer sales in pubs are still falling and the nation's pubs need support.

"The Government must carefully consider how best to use its Review of Alcohol Taxation to rebalance the tax system, freeze beer tax and support Britain's pubs, recognising the economic and social contribution of these vital community assets.

"Sixty per cent of drink sales in community pubs are beer, so a beer tax break would be a real benefit to their business."

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