Total sales increased by 5.9% and operating margin in the period was 6.4%, compared with 7.5% compared to last year. The company said the change reflected increases in the starting rates for hourly paid staff in August last year, which were around 8%.
JDW has opened eight new pubs since the start of financial year and has closed 19. It expects to open 16 new pubs in the current financial year.
Chairman Tim Martin said: “Sales during the quarter have continued at approximately the same level reported on 11 March 2016 in our interim statement. We are still aiming for a reasonable outcome for the financial year, before the impact of our previously announced £3.8m property gain realised in the first six months.”
In its interim statement released in March this year, Martin described operating conditions for pubs and restaurants as ‘highly competitive.’
He added the company was trying to upgrade as many areas of the business as possible, including a new menu and an increased range of craft beers and traditional ales, including three from Hogs Back Brewery.
Martin also reiterated his concerns about the tax disparity between supermarkets and pubs, describing it as ‘the biggest danger to the pub industry.’