March 12, 2020 / 4:51 PM / in 23 days

UPDATE 1-Pub operator Wetherspoon's six-week sales rise, maintains outlook

(Adds details on recent trading conditions, background, share price)

March 12 (Reuters) - J D Wetherspoon reported total sales for the six-week period on Thursday that rose 2.9%, and the pub operator maintained its full-year outlook.

The company, which posted strong holiday quarter sales in January, said trading in the recent six weeks was more affected by poor weather conditions than by fears related to the coronavirus outbreak.

J D Wetherspoon like most pub and restaurant chains, has been battling increased costs due to a mandatory minimum wage hike, higher property prices and power bills. It has also been investing in its more labour-intensive food and coffee businesses.

Like-for-like sales in the six weeks ended March 8 rose 3.2%, the company said in a brief trading update.

J D Wetherspoon in December laid out a plan to create more than 10,000 jobs over the next four years as it looks to invest about 200 million pounds to launch more outlets in the UK and Ireland.

The company’s shares closed down 9.7% on Thursday. (Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shounak Dasgupta)

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