Wetherspoon sales growth accelerates

Pubs operator JD Wetherspoon today reported accelerating sales growth in the second quarter of its fiscal year and said it was confident of a reasonable performance in 2011.

The company, which has nearly 800 pubs across Britain, said sales at pubs open more than a year rose by 3 per cent in the 12 weeks to January 16, compared with a 1.6 per cent increase in the first quarter to October 24.

Wetherspoon, the first of Britain's major pub companies to report on Christmas and New Year trading, said heavy snow across the country had impacted sales but the effect on its comparative performance had been minimal because it was offset by similarly bad weather hitting sales in January last year.

Yorkshire is a key target area for the company, which has identified sites in Ripon, Wakefield, Whitby, Driffield, Beverley, Scarborough, Pudsey, Mirfield, York, Morley, Horsforth, Halifax, Selby, Northallerton, Thorne, Ossett and Chapel Allerton