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JD Wetherspoon issues first quarter trading update

"Strong customer proposition delivers continued good sales performance"

CITY & CORPORATE

JD Wetherspoon issues first quarter trading update

In the first quarter (13 weeks to 24 October 2010), like-for-like sales increased by 1.6%.  Total sales in the period increased by 7.3%. 
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As indicated in the preliminary statement in September, the Company has increased planned investment in till systems, pub refurbishment, pub staffing and support. This has resulted in an operating margin of about 9.4%, approximately 0.7% lower than the same period last year and in line with our expectations. They are targeting some margin improvement in the second half of this financial year.
 
 
The pub chain opened 5 new pubs and closed 2 pubs in the quarter under review.  They intend to open approximately 50 pubs in the current year.
 
 
The company said that sales, profit and cashflow continue to be resilient and the performance of the recently opened pubs remains encouraging. As previously indicated, higher interest charges, following refinancing in March 2010, will adversely affect profits in the first half of the financial year, although the company is confident of a reasonable outcome for the year as a whole, helped by investments in new and existing pubs.

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