July 9, 2014 / 6:57 AM / in 4 years

Wetherspoon says trading slowed during World Cup

LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - British pub chain JD Wetherspoon reported a slow down in underlying sales in the last 10 weeks of trading, with demand dropping off as consumers turned elsewhere to watch the World Cup.

The firm, which has grown to run over 900 pubs on demand for promotions like curry clubs and ‘beer and a burger’ bargains, on Wednesday said sales for the 10 weeks to July 6 at pubs open over a year rose by 4.9 percent.

In May the group had said sales on a like-for-like basis in the 13 weeks to April 27 rose by 6.2 percent.

Wetherspoon pubs have shown matches during the World Cup tournament in Brazil, but they are not an obvious choice for fans to watch big games because they do not normally show sports matches during the year.

“Although sales have slowed in recent weeks, the company remains confident of a reasonable outcome in the current financial year,” it said.

Wetherspoon said its operating margin came in at 8.1 percent and that for the next financial year it expected the margin to be in the region of 7.7 percent to 8.1 percent. (Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Li-mei Hoang)

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