Miranda Dobson

Member Article

JD Wetherspoon pubs enjoy summer sales rise

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has announced a sales spike as like-for-like figures rose by 3.2% in outlets open for over a year.

Wetherspoons followed the positive business trend that benefitted from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, as the public celebrated over the summer.

In the six weeks up to the 9th September, like-for-like sales improved 8.4%, while total sales increased 12.8% for the firm.

Pre-tax profits were strong with a rise of 8.4% to £72.4m, producing a significant increase from £66.8m profits in 2011.

Commenting on the results, Tim Martin, the chairman of J D Wetherspoon plc, said: “I am pleased to report a year of further progress for the company, with record sales, profit and earnings per share before exceptional items.

As previously indicated, the biggest dangers to the pub industry, are the VAT disparity between supermarkets and pubs, combined with the continuing imposition of stealth taxes, such as the late-night levy and the increase in fruit/slot machine taxes.“

Mr Martin indicated that JD Wetherspoons is celebrating its success, however the events of the summer should be understood as a one-off.

“Sales this summer have been enhanced by a number of one-off events and we do not expect to sustain this level of growth.

“As previously indicated, it is anticipated that taxation and input costs will continue to rise. Overall therefore, the company is aiming for a reasonable outcome, in the current financial year.”

Operating margins took a 9% tumble due to exceptional items such as taxation, utilities and bar and food costs.

The headline figure for profits was reduced after property charges, down to £58.9m, while the company opened 40 pubs over the year and closed three outlets.

Wetherspoons currently have a total estate of 860 pubs, and plan to open approximately 25 outlets next year.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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