Early summer sun boosts Wetherspoon profits

The proscenium arch at the Caley Picture House, JD Wetherspoon's most recent opening in Scotland
The proscenium arch at the Caley Picture House, JD Wetherspoon's most recent opening in Scotland
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Pubs group JD Wetherspoon is set to post a jump of more than 20 per cent in annual profits this week, partly driven by the boost to sales by good weather earlier this summer.

In August the group, whose 950-plus estate includes about 70 outlets in Scotland, said like-for-like sales had advanced 5.3 per cent in the 11 weeks to 9 July. HSBC has pencilled in a pre-tax profit forecast of £93.6 million, while Barclays is forecasting £92.8m. That compares with a profit of £75.3m in the year to July 2016.

The City believes JD Wetherspoon, whose most recent opening in Scotland is the Caley Picture House in Edinburgh’s Lothian Road, is currently making a profit margin of about 8 per cent.

HSBC said in a note: “The group still thinks it can hit a minimum of 1,200 pubs in the UK, or about 30 per cent more than the size of the estate right now.”