Spirit suffers in early cold spell

January's snow and February's cold snap halted sales growth at the pubs group Spirit. It reported that sales from licensed pubs dropped 1.1 per cent and from managed pubs by 2.7 per cent in the eight weeks to 2 March.

Despite this, Spirit said it was outperforming the wider market and still expected to hit City forecasts for the year which ends in August. It has sold 12 unwanted pubs in the past two months, taking the total disposals for the year to 20.

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