Pub pint and a meal
JD Wetherspoon lifts full year outlook / Image source: Adobe
  • Third quarter sales up 5.2%
  • Full year profit seen top end
  • Upgrades to earnings estimates

The post-pandemic recovery at JD Wetherspoon (JDW) continues at pace after the pub group delivered another period of strong like-for-like sales growth and said full-year profit was expected to come in at the top end of market expectations.

The news sent the shares 3% higher to 748.6p, meaning they are roughly flat over the last 12 months compared with a 6% gain for the mid-cap FTSE 250 index.

You know business is going well when chairman Tim Martin throws-in some humour in place of his customary barbed comments on taxes and competition from supermarkets.

Martin commented: ‘The gods of fashion have smiled upon Guinness, previously consumed by blokes my age but now widely adopted by younger generations.

‘Sales of Lavazza coffee are also increasing. Free refills are thought to be responsible for spontaneous exhibitions of breakdancing among retired customers.’


For the 13 weeks to 28 April, like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% taking year to date growth to 8.3%. Total sales were up 3.3% in the quarter and 6.5% in the financial year to date (the company’s financial year runs to the end of July).

Consensus forecasts for 2024 have increased by around 20% over the last year according to Refinitiv data and currently sit at £52.5 million of net profit or 41.8p in terms of earnings per share.

Shore Capital leisure analyst Greg Johnson said Martin’s ‘chipper’ outlook was encouraging and he sees scope to ‘modestly’ lift his full year pre-tax profit estimate of £69 million.

Analysts at Jefferies believe there is scope for mid-single digit percentage consensus upgrades to pre-tax profit which sits at £70 million within a range of £67 million to £75 million based-on FactSet data. Jefferies’ estimate is £72 million.

Jefferies commented: ‘We argue that Wetherspoon's low relative price positioning and well-located / well-invested premises will gain market share and benefit from trading down.’


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Issue Date: 08 May 2024