PUBS group JD Wetherspoon saw like-for-like sales rise by 8% in the first 11 weeks of its second quarter, to January 13, it revealed today.
Total sales in the same period rose by 11.3%, it said in a trading update.
Like-for-like sales in its year to date, covering the 24 weeks to January 13, are 7.6% ahead, while total sales are 11.2% better.
The group, which operates more than 30 locations on Merseyside, said it expects its operating margin for the half year ending January 27 to be around 8.2%.
But this is expected to be about 1.1% lower than the previous financial year due to slightly higher than expected increases in costs in areas like tax, utilities, labour and bar and food supplies, together with increased marketing costs.
Wetherspoon has opened five new pubs so far this financial year and has another 12 sites under development.
It says it expects to open about 25 new pubs over the current financial year.
Today’s update concluded: “Our sales, profit and cash flow continue to be resilient, in spite of the continuing taxation and regulation burden on the pub industry and the ongoing pressure on consumer’s disposable incomes.
“The board expects a reasonable outcome for the current financial year.”