Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has warned rising commodity prices will dent its full-year performance, as it revealed strong trading during the festive period. In the 12 weeks to 16 January like-for-like sales increased 3% year-on-year (compared with 1.6% growth in the previous quarter). Total sales, which include the contribution of the 12 pubs opened in recent months, jumped 8.1% year-on-year (compared with 7.3% in the previous quarter). JD Wetherspoon said the effect of the snow ahead of Christmas, which had affected sales, on its like-for-like figures for the period had been minimal as it had been offset by the impact of last year’s snow in January 2010. In the year to date (25 weeks to 16 January 2011), like-for-like sales increased by 2.3% and total company sales, including recently opened pubs, increased by 7.7%. In a pre-close statement JD Wetherspoon said: “There are clear indications of increases in the cost of supplies across a wide range of goods, including food and bar purchases, as well as utilities and excise duties. “In spite of these affects of a harsher economic climate, the company is confident of a reasonable outcome for the year as a whole, helped by investments in new and existing pubs.” The company added that higher interest costs following a refinancing in March 2010 would hit profits in the first half of the year. The operator closed two pubs in the half year to 16 January but still expects to open around 50 sites in its full financial year.