Wetherspoons publishes preliminary results for 2021.
Austen Shakespeare

Wetherspoons boss laments staff shortage as revenue tumbles by 38%

One of the UK’s largest pub chains has announced a loss in revenue and its difficulty to obtain staff in certain regions.

J D Wetherspoons published its preliminary financial results for the year ending July 2021.

Revenue dropped from around £1.26bn in 2020 to £772.6m in 2021, a decline of 38 per cent.

Like-for-like sales were also reported to be -38.4 per cent.

Chairman of Wetherspoons, Tim Martin said: “Like-for-like sales in the first nine weeks of the current financial year were 8.7 per cent lower than the same weeks in August and September 2019, before the pandemic started. In the last four weeks of the period, like-for-like sales were minus 6.4 per cent.

“Excluding airport pubs, where like-for-like sales declined by 47.3 per cent, like-for-like sales declined by 7.1 per cent in the first nine weeks, and by 4.9 per cent in the last four. Total employee numbers averaged 39,025 in the financial year, which increased to 42,003 for the week ending 20 September 2021.

“On average, Wetherspoon has received a reasonable number of applications for vacancies, as indicated by the increase in employee numbers, but some areas of the country, especially “staycation” areas in the West Country and elsewhere, have found it hard to attract staff.”

In addition, no interim dividend was paid in March 2021. Wetherspoon’s board is not proposing a final dividend payment for the year. There were no share buybacks in the financial year.

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