Wetherspoons like-for-likes up 3% - despite snow
19 January, 2011
Wetherspoons, the UK's leading high street pub operator, today announced that like-for-like sales were currently running at +3% - despite the hit from December's snow.
For the first 12 weeks of its second quarter, up to last Sunday (16 January), like for like sales were ahead 3.0%, compared to 1.6% in the first quarter to 24 October last year. Total sales for the same period increased 8.1%, compared to 7.3% in the first quarter.
For the 25 weeks of the year to date, like for likes were up 2.3% and total sales, including recently opened pubs, increased by 7.7%.
Heavy snow had a strongly adverse effect on sales, the company said, but the effects had been were minimal overall since the effects of the weather pre-Christmas were off-set by early January sales which compared favourably with a snow-hit January last year.
See latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker figures: Snow-hit December sales down 4.2%
The robust results again demonstrate the growing polarisation within the pub sector.
Wetherspoons is now a major player in eating-out, as well as the drinking-out market. Latest Peach BrandTrack research shows that more people eat at the chain than in KFC, Burger King or any casual dining chain - only McDonald's is used more. In the past six months, 30% of the population had been to Wetherspoons for a meal, compared to 29% for KFC, 25% for Subway and 15% for Pizza Hut, PizzaExpress and Starbucks.
Wetherspoons opened 12 new pubs and closed two since the start of the financial year. "We have a number of sites under development and, in line with previous estimates, intend to open approximately 50 pubs in the current financial year," said chairman Tim Martin.
Interim results for the six months ending 23 January 2011 are expected to be announced on 11 March.
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