Wetherspoon Q1 sales performing well

Like-for-like sales in Q1 of J D Wetherspoon’s financial year were up 9.5%.

Like-for-like sales in Q1 of J D Wetherspoon's financial year were 9.5% higher than the same period last year, as the group reveals its results for the 14 weeks to 5 November 2023.

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.

The Tim Martin-led business has opened one pub at London’s Heathrow airport during the period. Four pubs have been sold and six leasehold pubs have been surrendered to the landlord, leaving Wetherspoon with a trading estate of 816 pubs.

On 22 August 2023, the company disposed of all interest rate swaps in place, receiving £14.8m. At the same time, the company fixed interest rates in respect of £200m of borrowings from 23 August 2023 to 6 February 2025 at a rate of 5.665%. On 25 September 2023, the company fixed interest rates in respect of £400m of borrowings from 6 February 2025 to 6 February 2028 at a rate of 4.225%.

"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," says Martin (pictured). "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 £70m [FY23: £46.9m]. 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."

You may also be interested in…