Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wetherspoon Recovers Its Fizz after Slip

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wetherspoon Recovers Its Fizz after Slip

Article excerpt

Byline: JIM ARMITAGE

JD WETHERSPOON, the low-cost pubs group which shocked the market with a profit warning in November, today recorded a rebound in sales during the festive period.

Like-for-like sales stripping out new pubs came in 4.2% higher in the six weeks to 5 January than a year earlier, representing an improvement on the 3% trend seen during November.

However, the sales performance still lagged the overall 5.3% level reported in the quarter to October and, for the 23 weeks of the year so far, like-for-likes are up 4.6%.

Overall sales, including new space, were up 22% during the six weeks at pound sterling86.9 million.

November's warning said bar sales were flat but food was up from 14%, helped by the introduction of breakfasts.

However, food carries lower profit margins than lucrative alcohol sales.

There was no initial indication of how the food-versus-beer sales picture-had panned out during the recent trading period. …

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