PUB giant JD Wetherspoon, which has more than 70 pubs in Scotland, attributed a 5.2 per cent increase in like-for-like sales for the 10 weeks to July to the recent good weather and England’s better-than-expected World Cup run.

But the group warned that it anticipated considerable cost increases next year due to increases in business rates, taxes, wages and the soft drinks industry levy.

Shares edged up 3% in early morning trading yesterday as the mid-market chain announced that total sales grew by 5.6%, up from 3.6% for a similar period a year ago, proving that big-ticket sporting events and a bit of sunshine can pull in the punters.

Wetherspoon’s outspoken founder and chairman Tim Martin, a vocal supporter of Brexit, confirmed that the chain had stopped stocking French champagne in favour of sparkling wine from the UK and Australia. It has also swapped German wheat beer for UK and American alternatives.

He added: “Wetherspoon has started to review its product range and has exchanged French champagne for sparkling wine from the UK and Australia, and German wheat beer for UK and American alternatives.

"The new products are now available at reduced prices in our pubs, and we plan further initiatives in this area in the coming months.”

In its pre-close trading statement for the financial year to July 29, Wetherspoon said it had opened six new pubs since the start of the financial year and completed the sale of 23 outlets, the disposals contributing to losses of about £9 million as they were below previous valuations.

The group also spent £15.6m on buying up the freeholds of pubs.

According to Mr Martin, the main advantage of Brexit is that “the EU is a protectionist system that imposes high tariffs on non-EU imports such as wine, rice, coffee, oranges, children’s shoes and clothes, and over 12,000 other products”.

Anticipating a trading outcome for this financial year in line with previous expectations, Mr Martin said: “As in the current year, we anticipate considerable cost increases next year in areas including business rates, the sugar tax, utility taxes and wages.

“In addition, as a result of an increase in our ‘swaps’, our interest rates will rise by around £7m.”

Pubs and restaurants have been hit by higher import costs as the pound has weakened following the Brexit vote in 2016 and many consumers have cut back on non-essential spending due to rising inflation.

Wetherspoon remains in a “sound financial position”, the statement said. Net debt at the end of this financial year is expected to be about £740m. Its final results are expected to be announced on September 14.

Paul Hickman, an analyst at Edison Investment Research, said: “Like-for-like sales growth of 5.2% for the 10 weeks to July 8 is a good result by any standards. It has obviously been helped by the heatwave in late June and early July, although the warmth of May 2017 stiffens the comparative.

"Football is less of a factor for Wetherspoons, many of whose pubs do not have screens. But the fact that this sun-drenched growth is precisely the same as for the 49 weeks of the year to date may point to some underlying flattening of demand."

Ed Monk, associate director at Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service said: “The UK’s preparations for life after Brexit are in question right now but Tim Martin isn’t hanging around.

“The bullishness on Brexit can’t mask a tougher period ahead for the pub chain, though. Business rates, the sugar tax and wages were all identified as contributors to rising costs in the next year. A bounce in World Cup beer sales should soften the blow.”

In Scotland, the chain operates outlets from Wick in the north to the Borders, including The Counting House in Glasgow city centre and The Standing Order in Edinburgh.