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Wetherspoon plans assault on breakfast market

01 November 2005
Wetherspoon plans assault on breakfast market

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has announced it will open the majority of its 650 pubs from 9.00am each day to maximise breakfast food sales.

As part of new alcohol licensing laws for England and Wales, which start on 24 November, virtually all of the high-street group's pubs have received consent to open seven days a week from 9.00am on a fully licensed basis.

Chief executive John Hutson said: "We believe that we are the only large pub company to open this early and the majority of sales at this time are expected to comprise breakfasts, coffees and non-alcoholic drinks."

At the other end of the spectrum, most of the group's pubs will remain open to midnight Sunday to Thursday, and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Like-for-like sales in the company's first trading quarter to 23 October declined by 0.9%, although total sales increased by 0.5% to £201.5m.

Wetherspoon has opened four new pubs so far this financial year, sold five previously identified for disposal, and expects to open about 13 new sites in total.

Bar sales at the company's 47 non-smoking pubs remained down while food-sales were up, resulting in their like-for-like sales being down by 7.3% in the first quarter.

by Chris Druce

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