Sales at JD Wetherspoon boosted by the British heatwave

Press Release   •   Jul 25, 2013 09:51 BST

The glorious summer, currently being enjoyed by the UK, looks to have had a good effect on one of the country's biggest pub chains.

British pubs group JD Wetherspoon nudged up its full-year expectations after posting a better than expected 3.5 percent sales rise and stronger margins in its fourth quarter.

The pub chain's 800 pubs have helped cash-strapped consumers ride out the downturn with promotions like curry clubs and "beer and a burger" bargains.

The company, whose pubs have chimed well with cash-strapped British consumers in the downturn, said on Wednesday like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks to July 14 were up 3.5 percent.

The news will be welcomed by investors, after the chain reported a fall in profits back in March. It put the previous poor results down to rising costs, something which it was quick to point out is still a problem.

"We view the year-to-date margin as a possible indicator for the future, if we were to achieve reasonable sales growth," Watford, England-based Wetherspoon said yesterday.

It also forecast a "slightly better" full-year outcome before exceptional items than it previously expected. The stock rose as much as 9.4 percent, the biggest intraday jump since March 2009.

"We are a little bit more bullish," Tim Martin, Wetherspoon's founder and chairman said.

"I think probably after five years people are seeing that Armageddon has been narrowly avoided and while they realise the economic world is precarious, life is going on."

Shares in the group, which has opened 29 new pubs this year and plans to open another 30 in the new fiscal year, closed at 668 pence on Tuesday, up 50 percent on a year ago.

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