Liberation Group has achieved a like-for-like sales (lfls) increase of 6.3% across its managed pub division, for the 16 weeks to 3 September 2022, compared to 2021, boosted by record accommodation sales.

The Channel Islands-based operator said it had a strong summer of trading across, Guernsey and Jersey, within its pub, brewing and drinks businesses, including its highest ever single week of revenue last month.

Lfls during the 16-week period were also up 30% versus 2019 figures, with sales growth driven by an encouraging performance on drinks, a robust performance on food and a strong summer of staycations.

Breaking down the trading figures by geography, the UK saw a +5% lift in lfls, Jersey achieved +6.6%, while Guernsey saw lfls up 16.7%.

The business said its tenanted partners had also come out of the pandemic in a strong position, with performance, in part, having benefited from some targeted investment to drive volumes, and with some strategic divestments it is continuing to build a quality tenanted business with a high average EBITDA per pub.

Its brewing and drinks division Butcombe also enjoyed a very strong summer, with overall beer volumes 9.5% up on last year, driven by strong demand for its keg portfolio of ales and lagers.

The group said that while it has not been immune to some of the inflationary pressures seen across the sector, it believes it is better placed and prepared to “manage, mitigate and avoid where possible and balance the need to deliver value for money to our customers whilst also protecting our P&L”.

It has worked with local suppliers to find alternative products and develop new menus and dishes that have reduced its exposure to products such as oil, which has surged in price.

“The trading outlook has clearly toughened, with our customers contending with a cost-of-living crisis and ourselves grappling with cost base pressures, the most extreme of which is utilities,” it said.

The business welcomed the recently announced support from government but said that even with the support announced its UK utility bills will double in October.

“We are keen to understand further details from the government, including longer term utility support and actions to reduce VAT and suspend business rates,” it added.

Despite the headwinds, Liberation Group said it was confident in its ability to deliver a great Christmas for customers and that the ongoing investment in its business was testimony to the belief in its teams and the potential for its business over the next five years.