September 15, 2017 / 6:47 AM / 8 days ago

Pubs group JD Wetherspoon reports 28 pct jump in profit

Sept 15 (Reuters) - JD Wetherspoon, owner and operator of more than 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland, on Friday reported an almost 28 percent jump in profit before tax and exceptional items to 102.8 million pounds ($138 million).

Like-for-like sales grew 4 percent while total sales grew 4.1 percent to 1.66 billion pounds ($2.22 billion), slowing from 5.4 percent growth the previous year.

“Since the year end, Wetherspoon’s like-for-like sales have continued to be encouraging and have increased by 6.1 percent. This is a positive start, but is for a few weeks only - and is very unlikely to continue for the rest of the year,” Chairman Tim Martin said.

Britain pub and restaurant groups including Mitchells & Butlers and Whitbread have warned that growth will slow as customers rein in spending amid rising inflation.

$1 = 0.7452 pounds Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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