Wetherspoon toasts rising sales lifted by easing costs
By David Wood | 8th November 2023
J D Wetherspoon sales improved in the first quarter of its financial year, helped by easing costs and steady demand for its lower-than-average priced drinks and food, despite the cost-of-living crisis.
The group, which owns and operates 816 pubs across the UK and Ireland - including venues in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud and Tewkesbury - said it would spend about £70 million this year to improve its pubs.
Like-for-like sales in the first 14 weeks of the financial year to November 5 were 9.5% higher than the same period last year.
Bar sales increased by 10.7%, food by 8.2% and slot/fruit machines by 10.0%. Hotel room sales increased by 6.2%. Total sales have grown by 8.1% in the year to date
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: "Sales in the first 14 weeks of the financial year have continued the pattern of gradual improvement which has followed the ending of lockdowns and restrictions. Inflationary pressures have eased, but energy costs, in particular, remain at far higher levels than pre-pandemic, putting pressure on suppliers and the wider economy.
"The company is increasing investment in existing pubs in the current financial year to approximately £70 million (FY23: £46.9 million). Areas of investment include new staff rooms, changing rooms, glass racks above bars (to cater for increased usage of brewers' "branded" glasses) and air conditioning.
"The company currently expects an outcome for the financial year in line with market expectations, and will provide further updates as the year progresses."
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