Wetherspoon sees positive start to Scottish smoke ban

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Related tags: Smoking ban, Jd wetherspoon

JD Wetherspoon says its 38 Scottish pubs have had "a positive start" following the introduction of a smoking ban north of the border.Wetherspoon...

JD Wetherspoon says its 38 Scottish pubs have had "a positive start" following the introduction of a smoking ban north of the border.

Wetherspoon finance director Jim Clarke said the first four weeks of the ban had been helped by a heavy marketing campaign and Easter falling later than last year.

However he says the group remains "very cautious" about the likely impact of the restrictions.

"In Ireland they had a good first month after the ban came in two years ago, which was then followed by a downturn."

Wetherspoon's like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to April 23 rose by 3.2 per cent, versus a two per cent dip in the same period last year.

Total sales increased by 3.1 per cent to £209.3m. The pubco said the improved operating margin performance achieved in the first half "has broadly continued into the third quarter".

Mr Clarke says the group has seen a "gradual improvement" in trading in the last few months, with trading helped by a strong Easter.

Meanwhile the looming World Cup tournament was unlikely to result in a significant boost in trading, Mr Clarke said, with individual pub managers allowed to decide whether to show games.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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