JD Wetherspoons has set out plans to add up to fifteen new pubs to its roster next year as the firm continues to post strong sales figures across food and gaming.
In its Q3 financial report, the pub chain revealed that total sales were up 5.6 percent against the same period last year, and 5.3 percent on a like-for-like basis.
In the previous four quarters to July 2019, Wetherspoons saw like-for-like sales increase by 6.8 percent, with founder and CEO Tim Martin reporting a significant uptick on fruit machine takings.
Potentially marking an end to a long-term trend of decreased spend on the pubs’ gaming machines, Wetherspoons fruit machines took £46 million between July 2018 and July 2019, compared to £43 million the previous year. Martin said he thought this could be due to the decreased staking limits on FOBTs encouraging people to return to pub fruit machines.
Alongside plans to open a number of new premises by next summer, the chain has spent the first part of this financial year aggressively buying out its landlords at premises where it was previously the tenant. In addition to spending £43.3m on these pub freeholds, the firm has also bought back £6.4m of the company’s shares.