Irish pubs have peaked, says Allied Domecq

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The Independent Online
ALLIED DOMECQ, the pub and spirits giant, yesterday said the Irish pub market had peaked and was in decline. Growth at its Firkin pub chains is also showing signs of slowing down amid intense competition among the major operators who are investing huge sums in the themed pub market. Allied has decided not to open any more of its Scruffy Murphy's Irish pub brand and is also reining back the expansion of the 178-strong Firkin chain. Instead the group is concentrating on growing the number of outlets designed to appeal to the family. Overall Allied's managed pub profits rose 6 per cent, a figure which disappointed industry analysts.

Investment column, page 26