JD Wetherspoon has reported a 27 per cent rise in sales for its first financial quarter compared with the same period last year.
Despite the adverse effects of foot-and-mouth, poor weather and the September 11 terrorism fall-out, sales were up £30m to £140.3m.
Steaks and currys have contributed to the groups rising sales. A revamp of the menus has propelled like-for-like food sales up more than 10 per cent. The company has introduced curry clubs were punters can get a curry dish plus a pint for about £4.
Several analysts predicted companies such as JD Wetherspoon would suffer the most from a fall in tourist numbers and the fear of terrorism, because of their focus on town centre locations. Many said the off-trade would benefit at Wetherspoon's expense.
But while the company reported 'softer' trading for the two weeks that followed the attacks in America, particularly in London, it said like-for-like sales were up seven per cent overall.
In the 13 week period the company opened 19 pubs taking the total number to 541. It plans to open 90 pubs this year. The company also wants to expand the Lloyds No.1 chain it bought from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries last year. Since taking the chain over, Wetherspoon's have pushed weekly average sales up from £11,000 to £26,000.