JDW plans to open 10 to 15 more pubs

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Future predictions: JDW boss Tim Martin said he anticipates a trading outcome in line with the company's previous expectations
Future predictions: JDW boss Tim Martin said he anticipates a trading outcome in line with the company's previous expectations

Related tags: Pub, Jdw

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) intends to open between 10 and 15 new sites by the end of July 2020, it has revealed in its latest trading update.

The update, for the 13-week period up to 27 October 2019, also reported like-for-like sales increased by 5.3% and total sales by 5.6%.

It was reported JDW had opened one new pub since the start of the financial year and disposed of four. The pub group also said in the current financial year to date, JDW has spent £43.3m on buying pub freeholds of which it was previously the tenant and has bought back £6.4m of the company’s shares.

JDW chairman Tim Martin said: “The company is frequently asked by shareholders, customers and the press for comments on Brexit.

“The UK economy will be better off on the basis of ‘no-deal’ rather than the deal proposed by the Government.

“We continue to anticipate a trading outcome for this financial year in line with our previous expectations.”

Investment bank Goodbody leisure analyst Paul Ruddy hailed the results as strong and said the pub group was continuing to outperform others in the sector, achieving like-for-like sales growth in excess of most of its competitors.

He added: "The secret to its success is not in one single programme, but a myriad of successful initiatives. While JDW’s point of differentiation in the market has always been their lower prices, improvements to venues, better food offering and the addition of coffee and pizza to their menus have all contributed to strong like-for-like sales.

Previous results

This follows the group reporting a rise in like-for-like sales by 6.8%​ in the year to 28 July 2019 in a trading update in September.

That update also reported operating profit dropped by 0.3% to £131.9m, down from £132.3m in the previous period.

At the time, the update said the group also saw revenue increase by 7.4% from £1,693.8m in 2018 to £1,818.8m for the 12 months to July 2019.

JDW also reported its profit before tax had seen a drop to £102.5m – a 4.5% fall from £107.2m in 2018.

Meanwhile, JDW was rated one of the best hotel chains in the UK,​ according to review site Which? last month (October).

Surprise contender

The survey, which took place in July 2019, asked 8,197 Which? subscribers and members of the public to complete an online survey about their experience of staying in small and large UK hotel chains over the past 12 months.

Which? said JDW was a ‘surprise contender’ and customers raved about the ‘outstanding value for money’ and its central locations in ‘sympathetically converted’ period buildings.

Guests also commented on the company’s ‘huge stylish rooms’, earning it a full five stars in the bedroom quality category and a 79% customer score overall.

The group, which has prices as low as £39 for a one-night stay and £5 extra for breakfast across its 63 sites with rooms, topped the list alongside Premier Inn – the reigning champion for the past four years.

However, JDW narrowly missed out on becoming a ‘Which? Recommended Provider’ because it only received three stars in the survey for its cleanliness.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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