Like-for-like sales at JD Wetherspoon rose 4.9% for the 25 weeks to 18 January, slightly faster than the 4.2% reported in for the 13 weeks of the first quarter, the company said this morning. No figures were given for Christmas trading, but total sales increased by 11% over the same period last year, slightly lower than the 12% increase for the first quarter, after a small number of pub disposals and a reduction in the number of new pub openings, the company said. Ten pubs and a development site were sold during the period, for an exceptional loss of £3.5m. During the same period eight new pubs were opened, with around 30 new pubs expected to open in the current financial year. This is a slight reduction on the company's original plans caused, it said, by delays in licensing and planning permissions and "a cautious approach to new sites". Overall, wetherspoon's said, business in the period has been "in line with expectations". Interim results for the six months to the end of January will be announced on March 5.