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Wetherspoon cautious despite sales boost

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pub company J D Wetherspoon has announced a sales increase of 8% to 438.4 million in the past six months.

In its interim report, it also showed profits before tax were up 20% to 32.9m. Earnings per share increased 37% from 10.6 pence to 14.5 pence. Average sales per pub are now 1.36m per year, with food sales accounting for approximately 50% of its overall sales.

Following a strong performance, sales growth slowed in January and February. Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: The company is cautious about the outcome of the second half of the financial year (January to July) in view of the increase in wages and utility costs, combined with slower sales growth.'

In advance of the smoking ban, the company has converted 61 pubs to a non-smoking policy and these have shown substantial declines in sales and profits in the year following their conversion.

Scottish pubs, in which smoking was banned by legislation in March 2006, have increased like-for-like sales by 5%, with profits unchanged.