JD Wetherspoon has swung back into profit and analysts have said on Friday the pub group will “benefit from trading down” by customers being squeezed by the cost of living.
In the year to 30 July the UK had total sales rise by 10.6% to £1.92 billion, and like-for-like sales grew by 12.7% year-on-year.
The pub chain which runs 826 sites across the UK also benefitted from a rise in food sales that grew by 17.7%.
Bar sales grew by 9% and the hotel arm of the business increased by 11.8%.
Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said: “Wetherspoon continues to perform well.
“The company currently anticipates a reasonable outcome for the financial year, subject to our future sales performance.”
He added, “Wetherspoons is a resilient business. It has been around for 44 years and our staff have been working here for an average of 14 years.
“The business has been through nearly everything and remains strong.
“Working to remain very competitive in price has been very important over the past year because it has been difficult for everyone financially.
“We have focused on the basics – things like real ale and coffee – while making sure the pricing is right. That’s what has worked.”
James Wheatcroft, equity analyst at Jefferies, said: “Momentum continues into the current year.
“We argue that Wetherspoons’ low relative price positioning and well-located and well-invested premises will gain market share and benefit from trading down.”
Roberta Ciaccia at Investec added that the latest figures were “strong and broadly in line with market expectations”.