Wetherspoon targets new pub openings, Tim Martin suffers health scare

JD Wetherspoon said this morning that it plans to open between five and 10 pubs in the current financial year, as it updated the market on its trading position.

The company, which operates around 900 pubs, said that it has opened two sites since the beginning of the year, and closed or sold three.

First quarter like-for-like sales, for the three months to 28 October, are up 5.5% and total sales by 6.2%.

Management said the company remains in a “sound” financial position.

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin used the update to inform the market that he is currently not in the business full time due to a “health scare”.

He said: “I am currently recovering from an operation after a burst appendix, so intend working part-time from home for several weeks. Many thanks to the fantastic doctors, nurses and staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.

“As most people understand, an experienced board, as at Wetherspoon, can be a great advantage. My recent health scare emphasises this point.”

The company’s upcoming general meeting, on 15 November, will be chaired by Liz McMeikan, the company’s senior independent director.

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