The company said that in the year to date (49 weeks to 8 July 2018) like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% and total sales by 4.2%.
The company has opened six new pubs since the start of the financial year and has completed the sale of 23 pubs. No further openings are expected in the current year.
It said that £9m of exceptional, non-cash losses are expected in this financial year, mainly a result of pub disposals, which were below the value in its balance sheet.
The group said it had also spent £15.6m on buying the freehold “reversions” of pubs of which it was previously the tenant.
It said it remained in a sound financial position. Net debt at the end of this financial year is expected to be about £740m.
The company spent £51.6m in respect of share buybacks in the first quarter of the year.
The group said it had started to review its product range and had exchanged French champagne for sparkling wine from the UK and Australia, and German wheat beer for UK and American alternatives. The new products are now
available, at reduced prices, in its pubs.
It said it planned further initiatives in this area in the coming months.
Chairman Tim Martin, who again used this morning’s statement to highlight his stance on Brexit, said: “We continue to anticipate a trading outcome for this financial year in line with our previous expectations. As in the current year, we anticipate considerable cost increases next year, in areas including business rates, the sugar tax, utility taxes.