For the 10 weeks to 8 July 2018, like-for-like sales at J D Wetherspoon (JDW) increased by 5.2% and total sales by 5.6%.
In the year to date (49 weeks to 8 July 2018), like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% and total sales by 4.2%.
The company has opened six new pubs since the start of the financial year and has completed the sale of 23 pubs. No further openings are expected in the current year.
Approximately £9m of exceptional, non-cash losses are expected in this financial year, which are mainly a result of pub disposals that were below the value in the JDW balance sheet.
The company has also spent £15.6m on buying the freehold ‘reversions’ of pubs of which we were previously tenants.
Net debt at the end of this financial year is expected to be about £740m.
JDW spent £51.6m in respect of share buybacks in the first quarter of the year. The shareholding of chairman Tim Martin has risen above 30%, as a result of share buybacks in the last 12 years. A rule 9 ‘whitewash’, under the relevant regulations, will again be put forward at the General Meeting in November, which will allow the company to continue to undertake buybacks.