The pub sector reported another strong performance in October, and with favourable comparables set for the remaining two months of the year, 2011 will turn out to be a resilient year for the industry, according to a leading analyst. The latest pub spend tracker from Espirito Santo suggested that October was another strong month for the sector, with weekends dryer than usual, albeit it was not as impressive as September. Alastair McDonald, analyst at Espirito, said: “With weaker comps in November and December, it seems likely that pubco trading for calendar 2011 will turn out to be pretty resilient, although this is hardly borne out in stock performances. “The expectations data for next month suggests no significant change in spending month-on-month. Weather trends remain a key variable, but the relatively easy November comps suggest that it should be another positive month year-on-year.” At the same time the analyst increased his fair value for Spirit, but maintained a Neutral rating for the group’s shares. He said: “At the Ebit line our estimates for FY12E and FY13E remain relatively unchanged (a 2% and a 1% increase respectively) but, due to lower than expected interest costs, our new PBT estimates for FY12E and FY13E are 11% and 8% higher respectively. “We roll out our fair value calculation for the next 12 months which leads to a 10% increase in our fair value to 44p from 40p. With the share price now at 43p, we maintain our Neutral recommendation.”