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JD Wetherspoon to expand in 2013

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opular national pub chain JD Wetherspoon has announced plans to expand its UK operation in 2013 and hopes to open 30 new establishments over the course of the year, creating thousands of full and part-time jobs.

This will add to the firm's current total of 866 bars and boost the employment market in areas such as Cardiff, Fort William, Selby and Whitby.

An investment of around £35 million will be needed to refurbish the sites, with the company fitting each new pub with catering equipment in order to offer its popular food-based deals.

JD Wetherspoon has been at the forefront of the move towards more friendly, accessible pubs, with its various meal options playing a major role in this shift.

Chairman Tim Martin expressed his pleasure at the company's continued growth, which has been sustained even through the ongoing economic troubles facing the UK.

"We are looking forward to opening the new pubs, many of which will be in areas where Wetherspoon is not yet represented," he claimed.

However, Mr Martin reiterated his criticism of the government's high VAT levels, which has also been slammed by industry bodies such as the British Beer and Pubs Association in recent months and is considered by many to be holding the sector back from growth.

"There is no question that we would open more pubs and create more jobs in 2013 if the increasing tax burden on pubs was reduced," concluded the JD Wetherspoon chief.

One of the largest leisure companies in the UK, JD Wetherspoon remains in a strong financial situation despite the economic problems in Britain.

Its latest financial report revealed that like-for-like sales increased by 7.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to October 28th, while total sales jumped by 11 per cent, largely driven by a strong performance during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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