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New BBPA Statistical Handbook paints comprehensive picture of the drinks sector


UK alcohol consumption remained stable in 2014, and is 19 per cent lower than at the recent peak in 2004, with the UK ranked 19th in EU per capita alcohol consumption – this and a huge range of other key drinks’ industry statistics are now available in the latest Annual Statistical Handbook from the British Beer & Pub Association.

A comprehensive section on taxation shows that the sector remains a very healthy source of tax revenues for the Treasury, despite recent cuts in duty. In 2014/15 Government tax receipts from alcohol sales (made up of excise duties and VAT) reached a new high, of £18.4 billion. At £6.2 billion, revenues from beer made up 34 per cent of the total.

Despite recent tax cuts, the BBPA says there is still huge scope to cut beer duties in the UK, as the Handbook reports that the duty paid on each UK pint remains the second highest in the EU at 52.2p, trailing only Finland at 64.6p. The duty rate in the UK is now an astonishing 14 times that in Europe’s largest beer market, Germany.

The hospitality sector remains a key economic sector for jobs and the economy; employment in the sector grew by over 9 per cent, or 151,000 new jobs, in 2014.

There was also good news to report for the brewing industry, with the number of breweries up again; there has been an astonishing increase to 1,700 in 2014 from just 500 in 2000. The BBPA also reports the first annual rise in UK beer sales since 2004, with sales up 1.3 per cent in 2014.

Other developments mark the continuation of long term trends in the sector. For the first time on record, in 2014 beer sales in the off-trade (50.5 per cent) exceeded those in the on-trade (49.5 per cent). Looking at all alcohol, just 32.6 per cent of sales were made through the on-trade; the lowest proportion on record.

Figures also show the continuing decline in indicators of the harmful use of alcohol. The proportion of young people (11-15) that have tried alcohol fell from 20 per cent in 2007 to just 8 per cent in 2014.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, comments:

“It’s great to see beer putting in such a solid performance in 2014, while at the same time, the trends in alcohol harm are coming down. Our comprehensive Stats Handbook also shows that with the right policies for the hospitality sector, there is huge scope for growing the economy, creating new jobs and careers.”

The BBPA Stats Handbook is available for purchase here.


For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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