Operating profit margins at JD Wetherspoon have dipped 0.7% for its first quarter to 9.4% as the company increased investment in till systems, pub refurbishment, pub staffing and support.
It also warned that higher interest charges, following refinancing in March 2010, would "adversely affect" profits in the first half of the financial year, although it was confident of a "reasonable" outcome for the year as a whole.
In a trading update for the 13 weeks to 24 October 2010, like-for-like sales were up 1.6% while total sales increased 7.3%.
The company opened five new pubs and closed two pubs over the period and indicated that it planned to open 50 pubs in the current year.
By Neil Gerrard
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