Bengaluru — UK pub operator JD Wetherspoon has reported a solid rise in sales on the back of England’s run in the World Cup, while saying it faced considerable rises in costs in 2019 due to increases in the minimum wage and taxes. Wetherspoon, like its rivals, has been reeling under cost pressure from wage inflation, property cost rises and the weakness of the pound. It has also been spending to upgrade facilities at its older pubs. The company reported a 5.2% year-on-year increase in same-store sales for the 10 weeks to July 8, roughly steady from 2017’s growth of 5.3%. Total sales grew 5.6%, up from 3.6% for a similar period a year ago, reaping the benefits of favourable weather and a popular Russian World Cup. But it said factors including the imposition of a new sugar tax on beverages would weigh on results in the next fiscal year. Reuters

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