Trading across the eating and drinking out sectors in the UK remained resilient in September, helped by the hot weather at the end of month. The latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which monitors the performance of 24 major pub and restaurant groups including Mitchells & Butlers, Whitbread and Gondola, found like-for-like sales climbed by 2.8% last month, after a 0.6% rise in August. Total sales, which include the effect of new openings, were up 6.9% on September 2010. Month on month, September sales were 18% up on August, reflecting the fact that it was a five-week against a four-week month. Unsurprisingly the report found that pubs had received the biggest boost from the good weather. Richard Hathaway, head of travel, leisure and tourism at KPMG in the UK, said: “Leading pub and restaurant operators continue to outperform the general retail sector and like-for-like growth of 2.8% is quite encouraging – especially, after seeing year-on-year growth fall to only token levels in July and August. "Total sales growth up at 6.9% also demonstrates a robust and confident sector, which continues to attract investment from pub and restaurant operators through new sites and offerings.” However, Hathaway warned that poor consumer confidence, high inflation and the on-going squeeze on personal finances remained “threats to meaningful growth in the sector and these are not likely to change anytime soon”. Jonathan Leinster, head of UBS European Leisure Research, said: “Marston’s is the only pub operator to have yet updated the market for the late September period, reporting like-for-likes of +2.9%, mirroring the Tracker data. We note that all the pub groups have been reporting that value deals were driving volumes. “UK pubs stocks have declined between 4% and 41% over the past three months, in part due to heightened concerns over UK consumer spending. However our recently updated UK household cash-flow indicates that cash-flow pre-savings should rise 2.5% in 2012, which would be similar to 2010 and a significant improvement on 2011. "Consumers are still allocating discretionary spend to pubs and restaurants and we believe that consumers do find value in some of the pub offerings and maintain ‘buy’ ratings on JD Wetherspoon, Marston’s and Greene King.”