Pub chain JD Wetherspoon sees sales rise 3.6%

Wetherspoon sign
Image caption Wetherspoon's said sales were "resilient"

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon says trading has remained "resilient" after reporting an increase in sales.

Like-for-like sales in the three months to 15 January grew by 3.6%, but the chain said the increase was mainly because the bad weather of a year ago had held trade back.

JD Wetherspoon opened 18 new pubs over the year and closed two. Including these changes, sales rose by 9.9%.

The chain said it still planned to open a total of 50 pubs this year.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWetherspoons' Tim Martin: Supermarkets are able to subsidise their alcohol sales because they pay no VAT on food and we do

It repeated its warning that profit margins would be squeezed over the year by higher costs.

JD Wetherspoon said that sales, profit and cash flow were "resilient", although it said challenges were presented by government legislation, such as rises in excise duty, business rates and carbon tax.

Chairman Tim Martin also repeated his criticism of pubs having to pay higher VAT on food than supermarkets.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites