SPIRIT Pub Company has signalled its expectation that the World Cup in Brazil this summer will help sales rise by between 3% and 3.5% in its 800-strong managed estate this year.

The leisure operator, which runs pubs under the John Barras and Chef & Brewer brands in Scotland, expects sales to be boosted by the extension to licensing hours during the event south of the Border.

Spirit said milder weather had helped it post a 6.1% rise in like-for-like sales in its managed pubs for the eight weeks to March 1. Leased pubs saw sales rise by 4.5% over the period.

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