Beer sales over the festive period dipped compared to last year, according to Vianet.

The company's iDraught system monitored sales in more than 11,000 pubs and found that overall sales between December 16 and January 1 were down by one per cent compared to the same period in 2015.

The top three trading days were the last Friday before Christmas (18th), Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Beer volumes in pubs that were trading on Christmas Day were also marginally down compared to 2015 (0.81 per cent).

A Vianet Group spokesperson said: "Our insight data shows that the festive period is one which traditionally features the three highest volume trading days for pubs, so operators will no doubt be a little disappointed that overall beer volumes were down on the previous year.

"It suggests that that the like-for-like sales growth that many operators have reported has come via price uplifts versus December 2015 and, of course, food."

He added that upcoming sports fixtures such as the Six Nations should help drive sales.