J.D. Wetherspoon sales rise on year, but remain short of prepandemic levels

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J.D. Wetherspoon PLC said Wednesday that sales for the first half of fiscal 2023 rose on year though remained below prepandemic levels, and said it was cautiously optimistic for the full-year.

The U.K. pub operator

said sales on a like-for-like basis for the half-year period ended Jan. 22 rose by 13%, though remained 0.7% below the equivalent period ending in January 2020. Sales on a like-for-like basis over the last 12 weeks rose 18% on year, though remained 2.0% lower than its prepandemic equivalent.

The company said costs in the hospitality industry are far higher than during the prepandemic period, especially in terms of labor, food, energy and maintenance.

Free cash flow is expected to be substantially higher than profits, as a result of cash inflows of around 170.0 million pounds ($209.6 million) from the October sale of interest rate swaps.

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

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