As the FTSE 100 ended the week below 5000 for the first time since the beginning of last October, shares in the leisure sector were showing the resilience that has carried them an average 20% higher in the past eight months.

The 52 leisure and hospitality shares tracked by Martin Information fell on average just 0.65% over the week, against a 3.24% drop in the FTSE 100 list of top shares on the London Stock Exchange and a 2.97% fall in the FTSE All Share index.

In the MI index there were 18 risers, 12 non-movers and 22 fallers over the week, with the biggest faller Enterprise Inns, down 42p to 559.5p as the market absorbed its rights issue made to pay for the acquisition of 1,800 Laurel tenancies.

However, in the eight months since October 2, while the FTSE 100 has gone up and then back down again, almost every share in the MI index has risen, sometimes by considerable amounts. The London brewer and pub owner Fuller, Smith & Turner, for example, is up 40% since October 2, to 540p; City Centre Restaurants has risen 74% to 71.5p, aided by investors feeling it has got to grips with its problems; Scottish & Newcastle is 28% higher at 657p; SFI Group has also climbed 28%, to 207p; Six Continents is up 23% to 742p; Whitbread rose 36% to 642p; and the bar and nightclub operator Springwood was up 31% to 139.5p.

In addition, 30 companies in the MI Index, just under 60% of the total, have share prices higher than they were on September 10, the day before the terrorist attacks on the United States that sent stock exchanges around the world into shock. Among the big risers from September 10 are Whitbread, up 13%, and Scottish & Newcastle, up 28%.

Some big names have performed poorly, however. PizzaExpress has dropped 23% since September 10 to 669.5p amid fears that it is finally losing its touch in the casual dining market it led for so long; JD Wetherspoon is down 4% on September 10, as investors continue to worry whether it can keep up its expansion; and Regent Inns is up just 1%, far below the sector average.