JD Wetherspoon predicts record sales this year

10 May 2023 by
JD Wetherspoon predicts record sales this year

Pub group JD Wetherspoon has predicted record sales for its current financial year following its highest-ever Easter sales.

In its third quarter trading update, the business reported the May bank holiday was also "exceptionally strong, including our busiest-ever Saturday", although the Coronation weekend was "slightly less strong, with a noticeably quiet Saturday".

The company's like-for-like sales increased by 9.1% in the 13 weeks to 30 April 2023, compared to 2019, while year-to-date sales increased by 6.4% compared to the same year. Compared to 2022, like-for-like sales increased by 12.2% in the third quarter and by 12.7% year-to-date.

30 of its trading pubs remain on the market, or are under offer, of its 834-strong estate.

As at 30 April 2023, net debt was £738m, approximately £67m lower than reported in Wetherspoon's interim results for the 2020 financial year, immediately before the pandemic. Since then, the company has invested £185m in new pubs and freehold reversions and has raised equity of approximately £240m.

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: "Lockdowns and associated restrictions have had more profound and longer-lasting consequences than most economists, politicians and commentators predicted.

"Sales in the last quarter have continued their positive momentum, although inflation, especially in labour, energy and food costs, remains a more intractable issue.

"In order to bear down on inflation, political parties should encourage free enterprise, rather than a reliance on additional regulations. A lack of understanding, among some senior politicians, about the need to encourage a successful free market economy, presents a real threat to the future prosperity of the country.

"The company expects profits in the current financial year to be towards the top of market expectations."

Photo: Shutterstock

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