Maypole Group – the Aim-listed hotel and restaurant group – has revealed it has increased sales by 53% to £2.8m after adding new sites to its estate. However, announcing its interim results for six months to June 30, the company said its like-for-like sales were flat, down 1%. The company said it was suffering from “tough” market conditions and that some customers were trading down from its high-end offering. Maypole also said it had recorded an operating loss £119,000. Simon Bentley, chairman of Maypole Group said: "Market conditions, in the face of decreased consumer confidence and declining consumer expenditure, have been tough but progress has been made by the group and I am encouraged by our trading since the period end. "The acquisitions made during 2007 have now been fully integrated into the group. We are seeing increased cost savings as a result of these acquisitions and whilst freehold sales will be considered to reduce debt, the group remains firmly focused on adding further leasehold hotels to the existing portfolio." In a statement accompanying its interim results, Maypole added: “Loss of market share to regional competitors has occurred following increased pricing pressure as rival hotel and pub operators have sought to offer heavily discounted food and drink promotions. “Customers have "traded down" from some of our higher end properties as pressure on consumer spending has increased.” The company added it was pleased with the performance at the Bridge Inn in Acle. Norfolk, during the six month period. It also revealed that LFLs for the eight weeks in September have increased by 2.13%. Plus it said it would continue to explore growth opportunities to acquire carefully selected acquisition targets. “Overall the board is confident that the demand for good quality, locally sourced food in rural hotel settings will underpin the group's long term performance.”