- Pub group JD Wetherspoon reported a rise in like-for-like sales in its second fiscal quarter.

For the first 12 weeks of the second quarter, like-for-like sales increased by 4.7% and total sales by 4.2%.

In the year to date (25 weeks to 19 January 2020), like-for-like sales increased by 5.0% and total sales by 4.9%. Since the start of the financial year, the company opened one new pub and sold five and intended to open a further 10-to-15.

It expected that around £80m would be spent this year on new pubs and pub extensions.

'We continue to anticipate a trading outcome for this financial year in line with our previous expectations,' said Chief executive Tim Martin.

Martin, a Brexit supporter, also criticised recent claims made by organisations like the CBI and the Food and Drink Federation, who argued that food prices would rise following Brexit.

'The FDF's warnings about food price rises are absurd- the EU is a highly protectionist organisation which imposes tariffs and quotas on about 13,000 non-EU imports including many food and drink products such as bananas, rice, oranges, coffee and wine,' Martin said.

'Elimination of tariffs will obviously reduce prices,' he added.

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