JD Wetherspoon has said it expects to see a fall in pre-tax profits despite like-for-like sales increasing by 7.2% in the 12 weeks to 20 January 2019.
Interim results for the pub chain report that pre-tax profits for the first half of the financial year are expected to be lower than the same period last year.
Chairman Tim Martin said: “Sales growth has been strong since our last update. Costs, as previously indicated, are considerably higher than the previous year, especially labour, which has increased by about £30m in the period, but also in other areas, including interest, utilities, repairs and depreciation.
“Profit before tax in the first half is expected to be lower than the same period last year. Our expectations for the full year are unchanged.”
The chain has seen a 6.3% increase in like-for-like sales in the 25 weeks to 20 January 2019.
Since the start of the financial year, JD Wetherspoon has opened two new pubs and sold six. The company plans to open between five and 10 properties in the financial year.