Wetherspoons more bullish as UK pub-goers’ mood improves

 
City A.M. Reporter
JD WETHERSPOON raised its profit forecast yesterday and said it plans to accelerate pub openings thanks to a recovery in margins and a more upbeat mood among customers.

The pub chain’s 800 pubs have helped cash-strapped consumers ride out the downturn with promotions like curry clubs and “beer and a burger” bargains.

Like-for-like sales rose a better-than-expected 3.5 per cent in its fourth quarter to 14 July and the group said it is now aiming to open 30 sites next year, up from its original plan to launch 20-25 sites.

“[We are] a little bit more bullish,” Tim Martin, Wetherspoon’s founder and chairman said. “I think probably after five years people are seeing that Armageddon has been narrowly avoided and while they realise the economic world is precarious, life is going on,”