Jan 18 (Reuters) - J D Wetherspoon Plc
* Trading statement
* For first 12 weeks of q2 (to 15 january 2017), like-for-like sales increased by 3.2 pct and total sales by 0.7 pct.
* In year to date (25 weeks to 15 january 2017), like-for-like sales increased by 3.4 pct and total sales increased by 1.6 pct.
* We expect operating margin (before any exceptional items) for half year ending 22 january 2017 to be around 8.0 pct, 1.7 pct higher than same period last year.
* Company has opened two new pubs, since start of financial year, and has sold 21.
* We intend to open 10 to 15 pubs in current financial year.
* Company remains in a sound financial position.
* Net debt at end of this financial year is currently expected to be around £50m higher than level at last financial year end
* Company intends to increase level of capital investment in existing pubs from £34m in 2015/6 to around £60m in current year.
* “In view of these additional costs and our expectation that like-for-like sales will be lower in next six months, company remains cautious about second half of year”
* We currently anticipate a slightly improved trading outcome for current financial year, compared with our expectations at last update Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 80 6749 1136)