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Group raises bar for embattled pub sector

While Moody's might not be too pleased with the shaky state of the UK economy, it's warming to see some pub deals going through, even in these straitened times.

Carmichael Group's purchase of three North Down pubs has injected a bit of life into a sector of the local economy which has suffered more than most from the recent downturn. A company which sold two of the pubs in 2006 before the world's economy nosedived may know a thing or two about the state of the market and we can only hope their re-emergence as a major player on the pub scene is a sign of things to come.

Latest data shows we're drinking less and eating more but canny operators are cottoning on to this and upgrading their food offering. So let's raise a glass to the pub sector.