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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
England defeat to dent UK economy
Beer and England flag
Pub owners reap bumper sales during England games
The UK economy is set to miss out on a windfall surge in consumer spending as a result of England's exit from the European football championship.

Analysts said England's defeat at the hands of host nation Portugal on Thursday means a spending boost worth up to 300m will now not materialise.

Retailers and pubs will be hardest hit as downhearted football fans cancel celebrations and stay at home.

Media firms hoping for a boost in advertising sales will also lose out.

'Robbed'

The British Retail Consortium said England's quarter-final defeat, attributed by many fans to questionable refereeing decisions, had cut short a sales bonanza that had netted shopkeepers an extra 30m per game.

The referee's decisions have robbed the retail trade of millions of pounds of potential sales
David Southwell, British Retail Consortium
"The referee's decisions have robbed the retail trade of millions of pounds of potential sales, as well as robbing England of victory," said BRC spokesman David Southwell.

Retail industry monitors Footfall said some shops may be left with excess stocks as sales fall back from their football-related peak.

"We've seen a steady upward trend since the tournament started, and there's been a definite feelgood factor," said Footfall director David Smyth.

"Retailers who jumped on the football bandwagon late may be left with merchandise they can't shift."

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a London-based consultancy, said the economy could have reaped a 300m boost if the England team had made it through to the semi-final and final of the tournament.

"We calculated that if England had carried on, we would have been spending 100 - 150m per match," said CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams.

Stock market woe

In the City, shares in firms thought likely to profit from the championship were lower on Friday afternoon, with football shirt maker Umbro falling 4p to 113.5p, brewing giant Scottish & Newcastle down 1.5p at 439.5p, and betting shop chain William Hill off 2.5p at 533p.

But as on the football field, England's loss is Portugal's gain.

According to market analysts Datamonitor, the Portuguese beer market is set to grow by 2.4% in 2004 after years of stagnation, thanks largely to strong sales during the European championships.

Much of the extra sales will be generated by beer-loving British, German and Scandinavian fans who have travelled to Portugal to support their teams.



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