JD Wetherspoon plc recently revealed that sales are still increasing. In an update ahead of its closed period the company said, “For the first 12 weeks of the second quarter (to 19 January 2014), like-for-like sales increased by 6.7% and total sales by 10.6%. In the year to date (25 weeks to 19 January 2014), like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% and total sales increased by 9.0%.”
Operating margin dipped slightly for the half year ending 26 January 2014, to be around 8.1%, 0.2% lower than the same period last year, due primarily to increased investment in a number of areas, for example, (IT, training and additional operating personnel). The company statement said, “We have highlighted the impact on our margin of the increased investment which we are making to prepare for an increased number of pubs and the continued pressure from taxes.
Assuming reasonable sales growth, the Company is targeting a reasonable outcome for the current financial year. Interim results are expected to be announced on 14 March 2014.