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UK Pub Group J D Wetherspoon's Sales Growth Slows

July 10 (Reuters) - British pub group J D Wetherspoon reported slower sales growth in the 10 weeks of the fourth quarter on Wednesday, hurt by cost pressures in labour and some raw materials.

The group, which owns and operates pubs across the UK and Ireland, posted a 5.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the 10 weeks to July 7, compared with 11% a year earlier, which included more bank holidays.

Pub groups, which were hit hard due to the pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis, are now a lot more confident about footfalls as costs gradually ease but continue to face pressure from sticky wages and costs of some raw materials.

"We argue that Wetherspoon's low relative price positioning and well-located/ well-invested premises will gain market share and benefit from trading down," analysts at Jefferies said in a note.

The pub group's chairman, Tim Martin, who has in the past called on the government to implement tax equality between pubs and supermarkets, said he hoped the newly formed Labour government would "rectify the inequality".

The group reiterated its expected annual profit in line with market expectations.

Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sohini Goswami

Source: Reuters

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