Revenues in the UK wine and spirits trade are bouyant despite 11 September and recession.

According to the Wine and Spirit Association, a leading UK trade body, 70% of off-trade members surveyed reported a rise in profits in the period between September 11 (the date of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York) and early December. Eight per cent showed a fall in sales, with the remainder showing no change from last year.

In the on-trade (bars, hotels and restaurants), nearly two-thirds showed a rise. In the immediate aftrermath of the attacks, the WSA reports, numbers of customers dropped, especially in Central London. Now, while foreign trade is still severely affected, the survey found that UK residents – staying at home rather than holidaying abroad – were keeping tables full.

In total, 67% of respondents reported business was ‘much better, up by 10% or more’ or ‘better, up by 2-20%’ compared with the same period last year.

Twenty-one companies were surveyed. Director Quentin Rappaport said, ‘While it was not a large sample, the members comprise some of the most sizeable within the trade and as such provide a unique window on the economic issues facing the industry.’

Respondents to the survey remain anonymous. The WSA has around 100 members including such well-known names as John Armit Wines, Yapp Brothers, Allied Domecq, Lay and Wheeler, Averys, Balls Brothers, Louis Latour and others.

Written by Adam Lechmere 2 January 2002