Job losses, site disposals, and yet more openings are in store as JD Wetherspoon continues to rationalise its high street estate.
Following hard on the news that the pubco is to shed 15 staff, spread across all its HQ departments, the company has put 16 pubs up for sale.
The properties, which are a mix of leasehold and freehold, are expected to realise £3.7m. The majority are inside the M25, although the sites on offer stretch from Milton Keynes to Doncaster.
JD Wetherspoon's spokesman Eddie Gershon confirmed: "The pubs are being sold either individually or as a package through property specialist Fleurets." The pubs are expected to be sold individually or as small packages.
In the past 18 months Wetherspoon has disposed of 39 properties through Fleurets, while continuing a much reduced roll-out of venues. The most recent, in Peterborough, will be joined by non-smoking venues situated in both Gatwick and Stansted airports, Spalding and Dudley over the next few months.
All of the new venues will adhere to the company's recently introduced non-smoking policy for its new pubs.
This slowdown in openings marks a departure from Wetherspoon's ambitious growth plans of just two years ago which witnessed the company talking about a roll-out of up to 90 pubs a year. Its estate currently stands at around 650 venues. Mr Gershon confirmed that Wetherspoon would "open about 15 new pubs this year".