Pub chain JD Wetherspoon toasts 3.5% sales rise
Increasing optimism about the economy has helped pub chain JD Wetherspoon to better-than-expected revenues as consumers toasted the recovery with a pint.
Like-for-like sales rose 3.5% in the 11 weeks to July 14 and the company said it was now in place to achieve a slightly better outcome for the financial year due to end this month. Shares rose more than 5%.
The figures cover a period beginning in April when it emerged that the UK had not entered an unprecedented triple-dip recession as had been feared, followed by further tentative signs that a recovery was under way.
Wetherspoon's chairman Tim Martin, who was educated in Belfast, suggested relief about an end to the downturn could have helped the performance by driving customers into the chain's pubs.
"Possibly they are a bit more optimistic and celebrating the absence of Armageddon," said Mr Martin.
The pub chain chairman said the weather was less likely to have an impact on sales given that Wetherspoon's largely consists of pubs with few beer gardens.