JD Wetherspoon shares rose nearly 10% yesterday as the pub chain pointed to an encouraging sales performance in light of the smoking ban. Financial Times. The Times

The pub group, the first to report since the smoking ban in England on 1 July, said pubs were becoming more attractive to most customers, although there may be an initial impact on margins.

Like-for-like sales were up 4.9% in the 11 weeks to 15 July as a result of increased food sales

Wetherspoon operates 667 pubs.