Hospitality businesses miss out on £100.2bn in sales due to Covid

Hospitality businesses have suffered a £100.2bn drop in sales from pre-pandemic levels in the 15 months since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest edition of the UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker with CGA.

Prolonged closures and trading restrictions have both limited total sector sales in the 12 months to end June 2021 to an estimated £59.8bn, down by £72bn from the total of £131.9bn in 2019.

Adding on the second quarter of 2020, this brings total sales in the last 15 months to £64.4bn, £100.2bn below the total of £164.6 bn in the 15-month period to June 2019.

However, the latest quarterly figures are an improvement on recent year-on-year comparatives, following the easing of restrictions for hospitality venues since mid-April, compared to a period when hospitality was almost totally shut in 2020.

As a result, estimated sales in the three months to end-June 2021 totalled £18.4bn, compared to £4.6bn in the same quarter of 2020.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “While we hoped to be close to normal trading from 19 July, in reality hospitality businesses instead remain impeded, by the ongoing ‘pingdemic’ crisis, the pre-existing staffing shortage and the looming shadow of vaccine passports over some of the sector.

“History tells us that hospitality can be a leading economic force in driving an economic recovery but to do so in current conditions and with huge debt accruals, it will need further support to push it over the line and back to pre-Covid trading.”

She added: “Extension of the business rates holiday, speedy resolution to the rent problem and retention of the lower VAT rate indefinitely are more crucial than ever to safeguard jobs and businesses.”

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