Britain's pubs rally as Chancellor announces cut in beer taxes

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Britain's pubs rally as Chancellor announces cut in beer taxes

Shares of Britain s pub operators rallied as the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced lower taxes on beer in his autumn budget.

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J D Wetherspoon Plc closed 5.3% higher, its biggest jump in three months in one day, while Marston s Plc added 6.3% and Mitchells Butlers Plc 5.7%.

Sunak said alcohol would be taxed according to strength, with the main duty rate slashed. That will mean a lower duty on draft beer and cider, he added.

The planned duty change itself is minor, trimming an estimated 3 pence, or just 0.6%, off the price of a pint, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Jamie Rollo. The move is a welcome message of support, he wrote in a note to clients. After years of rising tax and regulatory burdens, this could signal a reversal of the previous mindset. The budget brought a double boost for the pub trade, with Sunak also announcing a 50% discount on business rates for hospitality and leisure, and retail sectors.

Rollo cautioned that while the rates relief appears material - - saving a firm like Mitchells Butlers about 50 million pounds $69 million annually - - the wording around the cut was ambiguous and may end up being skewed to favor smaller companies.

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