Sales increases at Wetherspoon 'slow slightly'

By James Wallin, MCA

- Last updated on GMT

Ebb and flow: since the start of the financial year JDW has opened five new pubs and sold 19
Ebb and flow: since the start of the financial year JDW has opened five new pubs and sold 19

Related tags Jd wetherspoon brexit Eu Sales

JD Wetherspoon grew like-for-like sales 3.5% in its third quarter to 29 April while total sales were up 2.8%.

Year-to-date like-for-like sales have grown 5.2% with total sales increasing 3.8%.

The company said that the early May bank holiday falling out of this year’s Q3 is likely to have reduced like-for-like sales by about 0.5%.

Since the start of the financial year, JDW has opened five new pubs and sold 19, and intends to open one further pub in the current financial year.

The company has spent £15.4m on buying the freeholds of pubs and has bought back £51.6m of shares in the financial year to date.

Net debt at the end of the quarter was £754m and is expected to be around £740m at the end of the financial year.

Sales growth 'slowed slightly'

Chairman Tim Martin said: “As anticipated, the rate of like-for-like sales growth slowed slightly in the third quarter.

“We continue to face significant cost increases in the second half in areas that include labour, business rates and the sugar tax. There is also some uncertainty as to the effect on sales of the FIFA World Cup.

“We continue to anticipate a trading outcome for this financial year in line with our previous expectations.”

EU 'protection racket'

He added: “A debate is currently taking place as to whether the UK should remain in the EU’s customs union post-Brexit. I feel sure that the UK should leave. This will enable parliament to eliminate taxes on non-EU food and drink imports, reducing prices in the shops, which will immediately improve living standards.

“It makes no sense for the UK to continue to impose taxes on New World wines, coffee, rice and thousands of other products, and then to send the proceeds to Brussels. The EU masquerades as a free-trade organisation, but it is really a protection racket that imposes import taxes on the 93% of the world’s population that is not in the EU.

“The UK should copy countries like New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, which have successfully adopted free-trade policies, rather than being beholden to the undemocratic EU and its unelected presidents.”

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