JDW disposed of 18 sites in year-to-date

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Business report: JDW reveals like-for-like sales rise in the 13 weeks to 28 April 2024 (image: Getty: Poike)
Business report: JDW reveals like-for-like sales rise in the 13 weeks to 28 April 2024 (image: Getty: Poike)

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Pub giant JD Wetherspoon (JDW) opened two pubs and sold or surrendered to the landlord 18 sites in the year-to-date, it revealed in a trading update.

It said most of the pubs were smaller and older or where the company has second pub in reasonably close proximity while there was a net cash inflow of £6.8m from the 18 disposals.

Moreover, it has 17 pubs on the market or under offer meaning the business currently has a trading estate of 809 pubs.

In the trading update, JDW also revealed a 5.2% like-for-like sales increased in the 13 weeks to 28 April 2024 against the same period last year.

Furthermore, the company reported year-to-date like-for-like sales also rose by 8.3% while total sales increased by 3.3% in the quarter and year-to-date by 6.5%. JDW’s net debt was £685m as at 28 April 2024.

Steady recovery

Chairman Tim Martin said: “Sales in the period continued the steady recovery from the pandemic.

“Traditional ales, which were very slow in the aftermath of the lockdowns, are increasing momentum, with Abbot Ale, Ruddles Bitter and Doom Bar showing good growth, as are ales from the many small and microbrewers we trade with.

“The gods of fashion have smiled upon Guinness, previously consumed by blokes my age, but now widely adopted by younger generations.

“Also selling well among younger generations are Au Vodka from Swansea and XIX flavoured vodkas – the latter promoted by the hugely popular Sidemen.

“Wine has been on the comeback trail, with Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand popular among JDW representatives of the chattering classes.”

Profit expectation

Outside of alcohol drinks sales, Martin outlined how hot drinks sales are performing, feedback on its new menu and his predictions for the near future.

“Sales of Lavazza coffee are also increasing. Free refills are though to be responsible for spontaneous exhibitions of breakdancing among retired customers,” he added.

“Our new menu, launched last week, has had a promising start, with some kindly reviewers comparing new dishes favourable with respected competitors.

“The company expects profits in the current financial year to be towards to the top of market expectations.”

This follows the company announcing earlier this week that it was pumping £5m into opening its first Newcastle hotel​.

Redeveloping the site will see the Mile Castle pub benefit from the addition of a new 26-bedrom hotel and full internal refurbishment including updated décor, fixtures, fittings and lighting.

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