By Marcus Leach

JD Wetherspoon, the nationwide pub chain, have reported an increase in sales and said that trading has remained 'resilient'.

For the first twelve weeks of the second quarter (to 15 January 2012), like-for-like sales increased by 3.6%, compared to 1.1% growth in the first quarter (to 23 October 2011).

Total sales, including new pubs, for the first twelve weeks of the second quarter increased by 9.9%, compared to 7.3% in the first quarter. In the year to date (25 weeks to 15 January 2012), like-for-like sales increased by 2.3% and total sales increased by 8.5%.

December like-for-like sales were strong, mainly due to adverse weather conditions last year. Sales growth for the period before and after December was approximately in line with the first quarter.

"We expect the operating margin for the half year ending 22 January 2012 to be slightly below that achieved in the first quarter of this financial year, with the potential for further decline in the second half of this financial year due to continuing cost increases. We expect the Company's corporation tax rate for this financial year to be around 29%," a statement on the company website said.

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