CEO Statement Rising Bankruptcies in Pub Trade

06 July 2011

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Pubs of Ulster:

“The rise in the number of bankruptcies in the pub trade in recent months is very worrying and the industry is now facing a very difficult future.

“The pub trade faces a range of financial pressures that many other aspects of the retail alcohol industry do not.  This, in addition to entertainment licenses, insurance, electricity and other business costs means that most pubs face extortionate overheads just to open day to day.

“Pubs also face unfair competition from the large supermarket chains, some of which are offering below cost alcohol prices, which has been a major contributing factor behind the fall in customer numbers experienced by many pubs.  The industry also has to contend with unfair competition from irresponsible registered clubs and restaurants that operate outside their license, having a direct negative impact on law abiding pubs, registered clubs and restaurants.
“The threat of closure and bankruptcy is unfortunately a reality for many publicans.  Whilst many pubs will be able to weather these difficult times by tightening their business and exploring innovative ways of attracting customers, immediate action is needed by the Assembly to help protect an industry which not only plays an important role in the local economy, but is also a vital part of communities throughout Northern Ireland.”