Pub Group Wetherspoons has reported a 16.9% year on year in the 44-day period to 16 August.
The group says that 844 pubs are now open, out of a total of 873.Sales have gradually improved, with a rapid acceleration recently, largely due to subsidised food,coffee and soft drinks in the early part of the week.
Sales have also been helped by the addition of extra outside seating.Landlords, landowners and local and licensing authorities have been extremely flexible in accommodating extra outside space – which has helped Wetherspoon and the licensed trade generally.
The company nonetheless expects a period of more subdued sales once the scheme for subsidised early-week meals and drinks ends.
Since the beginning of July the Company has opened two new pubs, in Crossgates, a suburb of Leeds and in Kingswinford in the West Midlands.
Chairman Tim Martin said:
“Risk cannot be eliminated completely in pubs, but sensible social distancing and hygiene policies,combined with continued assistance and cooperation from the authorities, should minimise it”.
“The Company expects to make a loss for the year ending 26 July 2020, both before and after exceptional items. Some of these exceptional items will be related to the Covid pandemic.”