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.”