Increased food sales at no-smoking JD Wetherspoon pubs have failed to offset lost drink and fruit machine revenues, the company said today in a trading statement.
Wetherspoon's, which said like-for-like sales in its no-smoking pubs had dropped 7.3% in the first quarter of last year, added that the trend had continued in its second quarter.
Wetherspoon's is carrying out a review of its 49 no-smoking pubs and its policy on smoking. It will announce the findings at its interim results on 3 March.
In the 11 weeks to 8 January, the company halted the 0.9% decline of its first quarter, with like-for-like sales up 0.3%.
For the year to date, like-for-like sales have declined 0.3%, with company sales up 0.9%.
Wetherspoon's said it had made progress in tackling its costs and operating and pre-tax profit for the first half of the year would be "materially" higher than a year ago.
However, the company warned trading conditions remained tough and the double whammy of the Scottish smoking ban in March and the world cup in June and July - Wetherspoon's pubs traditionally do not have televisions - meant it remained cautious about its second-half performance.
By Chris Druce
Get your copy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper every week - click here to subscribe and save 25%.
|Sudoku Join the craze and play Sudoku online!|