Mixed tonic: Wetherspoon sales rise in the face of mounting costs
JD Wetherspoon yesterday reported a jump in sales for the third quarter at its 900-odd pubs in Ireland and Britain, even as UK pub operators battled mounting costs.
Wetherspoon's comparable sales rose 7.6pc during the 13 weeks to April 28, with an 8.4pc rise in total sales.
Growth for the company comes despite British pub operators battling rising costs from an increase in the minimum wage, higher property rents and a Brexit-spurred slide in the value of the pound.
Adding to the pressure, younger Britons are increasingly moving away from pub drinking.
"We continue to anticipate a trading outcome for this financial year in line with our previous expectations," said Wetherspoon chairman and Brexit supporter, Tim Martin.
In Ireland, the UK chain is investing €4m in a new pub on Lower Abbey Street in Dublin 1. Separately, the group is developing a pub and 92-room hotel in a row of derelict properties at a cost of €18.5m in Dublin 2. The development, which is set to open this summer, will be named the Keavan's Port Hotel, based on historic records dating back to 1673, which show Camden Street Upper and Lower was originally called Keavan's Port.
The FTSE 250 group said it expected second-half costs to remain high.