Wetherspoon reports rise in like-for-like sales

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Increased labour costs will 'be an important factor' in the outcome of the financial year
Increased labour costs will 'be an important factor' in the outcome of the financial year

Related tags: Like-for-like sales, Minimum wage

Pub giant Wetherspoons has revealed like-for-like sales were up 2.8% in the 25 weeks leading up to 17 January and a 3.3% rise in the last 12 weeks.

The company said it expected the operating margin for the half year ending 24 January 2016 to be around 6.3% - down 1.1% on the same period last year, which it said reflected increases in the starting rates for hourly paid staff in October 2014 and August 2015.

Chairman Tim Martin said: “Like-for-like sales have improved in the second quarter so far. However, as indicated in our November trading update, increased labour costs will be an important factor in the outcome for this financial year. Our current view is profits for this year are likely to be towards the lower end of analysts’ expectations.”

Wetherspoons plans to open 10 to 15 pubs in the current financial year.

Martin recently argued that it ‘far from certain that the majority of people in the pub industry really comprehend the true extent of our tax and regulatory burden’, pointing to the new living wage, the disparity between the amount of business rates paid by supermarkets when compared to pubs and VAT.

The Wetherspoons boss called on the industry to educate the public, rather than politicians, about the challenges facing pubs.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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