(Bloomberg) -- A restriction-free Christmas and a winter world cup could be the double dose Britain’s pubs need to protect them from the cost-of-living crisis. The early signs are in — Marston’s said this morning that Christmas bookings are strong and drinks sales during England games are up 50%. Let’s hope, for the sake of Britain’s pubs, England keep winning.

Here’s the key business news from London this morning:

In The City

Marston’s Plc: Like for like sales of drinks during two of England’s World Cup games were up 50% compared to a year before in the company’s pubs, a boost for the business after years of disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

SSP Group Plc: The operator of food outlets in travel locations sales still haven’t return to pre-pandemic levels despite reopening nearly all of its units.

  • Wider market trends like low labor availability, inflation and supply chain constraints have impacted the business, although it says “ traveller resilience,” geographical diversification and flexible costs means it is “well placed” to succeed

Third Point Investors Limited: Daniel Loeb’s London-listed hedge fund was dragged down by The Walt Disney Co. and cybersecurity company SentinelOne Inc. in November, despite being lifted by luxury conglomerate LVMH and consumer goods company Bath & Body Works Inc.

  • The funds’ performance fell 0.7% on a NAV basis in November, contributing to a year to date decline of 24%

In Westminster

“Can Keir Starmer destroy the ring of power?,” asks Bloomberg Opinion’s Therese Raphael. 

The Online Safety Bill was finally debated in Parliament yesterday. If the bill doesn’t pass by April 2023, it could be dropped entirely. “Britain’s legislators shouldn’t let that happen,” writes Bloomberg Opinion’s Parmy Olson. 

Meanwhile, another wave of strikes is set to disrupt train network over the holiday season, after a union representing rail workers announced more industrial action in late December. 

In Case You Missed It 

UK retail sales jumped in November with promotions surrounding Christmas and the World Cup, but rising inflation meant that consumers still were paying more to buy less, an industry survey showed.

Telecom tycoon Xavier Niel is ready with advice for the board at Vodafone Group Plc shortly after the company announced Chief Executive Officer Nick Read’s departure: sell off more of the business.

French construction materials supplier Cie. de Saint-Gobain is nearing a deal to sell UK building supplies merchant Jewson to buyout firm CVC Capital Partners, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. 

Looking Ahead

Pub chain Mitchells & Butlers Plc and online greetings card platform Moonpig Group Plc are among the companies due to report results tomorrow.

On Friday, City minister Andrew Griffith is expected to unveil a long-awaited reform package aimed at boosting growth in financial services, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. You can read more about the UK’s plans to get a “Big Bang” out of Brexit here. 

For a news fix when the day is done, sign up to The Readout with Allegra Stratton, to make sense of the day’s events.

--With assistance from Kwaku Gyasi.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.