High street pub operator JD Wetherspoon has shrugged off the gloom enveloping the industry and is investing more than £5m to open five new pubs on Friday 12 December.
The pubs, located in Minehead in Somerset, Bodmin in Cornwall, Doncaster in Yorkshire, Oldham in Lancashire and Sutton in Surrey, will take the company's pub estate across the UK to 713 and create 200 new jobs.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: "The five new pubs will take our tally of openings since August 1 to 20. It has enabled us to create approximately 1,000 new jobs despite the downturn in the economy."
The value operator has benefited from the "Aldi effect" as customers trading down helped to boost sales in a market where the majority of pub operators are struggling.
The group, which has nearly 700 pubs, last month revealed that like-for-like sales increased 1.5% in the 13 weeks to 26 October, an improvement on the 1.1% increase seen in the first five weeks of the period.
By Daniel Thomas
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