Shares in JD Wetherspoon climbed more than 4% after the pub giant declared it expects profits for the year to come in at the top of expectations - and revealed the strange effect coffee refills are having on customers.

Tim Martin, founder and chairman of the company, said sales continued their steady recover from the pandemic in the 13 weeks to April 28. Like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% compared with the same period last year, while year-to-date like-for-like sales grew by 8.3%.

Total sales increased by 3.3% in the quarter and by 6.5% in the year to date.

Mr Martin gave an insight into products which have been selling well in the Wetherspoon estate, and declared free refills of Lavazza coffee are “thought to be responsible for spontaneous exhibitions of breakdancing among retired customers”.

He said: “Sales in the period continued the steady recovery from the pandemic. Traditional ales, which were very slow in the aftermath of the lockdowns, are increasing momentum, with Abbot Ale, Ruddles Bitter and Doom Bar showing good growth, as indeed are ales from the many small and micro brewers with which we trade.

“The gods of fashion have smiled upon Guinness, previously consumed by blokes my age, but now widely adopted by younger generations. Also selling well among younger generations are Au Vodka from Swansea and XIX flavoured vodkas, the latter promoted by the hugely popular Sidemen.

“Wine has been on the comeback trail, with Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand, popular among Wetherspoon representatives of the chattering classes.

“Sales of Lavazza coffee are also increasing. Free refills are thought to be responsible for spontaneous exhibitions of breakdancing among retired customers.”

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The thought of pensioners, fuelled by caffeine, breakdancing in the aisles of Wetherspoon pubs might seem like you’ve woken up from a surreal dream, yet Tim Martin’s tongue in cheek comments suggest it’s happening across the country.

“Free refills of coffee, younger people discovering the joys of Guinness and a resurgence in real ale are among the reasons why Wetherspoon says profits could come in towards the top end of market expectations.

“The pub industry has experienced more than its fair share of ups and downs over the years, and the number of pubs has been decreasing steadily for decades. But one name has managed to keep its head above water and show the kind of resilience and stamina that a marathon runner aspires to, and that’s Wetherspoon.

“Its focus on value for the customer has paid off in spades and that’s a key reason why it remains one of the last men standing in the sector.

“While it cannot take full credit for the latest drinking trends, it can capture a lot of business by making sure it offers popular products at competitive prices and ensuring its pubs remain a pleasant place to visit.”

Wetherspoon runs around 850 pubs in the UK.

Shares closed up 4.33%, or 31.5p, at 759p.