JDW sales up while profit slips

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

On the rise: JDW has reported an uplift in its sales
On the rise: JDW has reported an uplift in its sales
Pub giant JD Wetherspoon (JDW) saw like-for-like sales rise by 6.8% in the year to 28 July 2019, but operating profit dropped by 0.3% to £131.9m, down from £132.3m the previous period.

The group also saw revenue increase by 7.4% from £1,693.8m in 2018 to £1,818.8m for the 12 months to July 2019.

JDW also reported its profit before tax had seen a drop to £102.5m – a 4.5% fall from £107.2m in 2018.

Performing well

JDW chief executive Tim Martin said: “JDW continues to perform well. Like-for-like sales for the six weeks to 8 September 2019 were up 5.9%.

“We currently anticipate a reasonable outcome (pre International Financial Reporting Standard 16) for the current financial year, subject to our future sales performance.

“As in previous years, we will provide updates, during the year, on the company’s trading.”

This follows JDW reporting like-for-like sales up by 6.9% and total sales increasing by 6.6%​ in its pre-close trading statement for the financial year ending 28 July 2019.

Price slash

It also said since the start of the financial year, the group had opened five new sites and disposed of nine. During this period, the company had spent £71m on buying the freeholds of pubs of which it was previously the tenant and had bought back £5.4m of the company’s shares.

Its net debt at the end of this financial year is expected to be about £745m.

More recently, the pub behemoth announced it would be cutting the prices of all food and drink​ across its 879-strong estate on Thursday 19 September to highlight the benefit a VAT reduction would have in the hospitality trade.

The Tax Equality Day will mean prices will be cut by 7.5% in response to a triply whammy of high beer duty, rising business rates and VAT, which contributed to more than 200 pubs closing their doors for the final time during the first six months of 2019 – around 40 per month – according to research​​ by real estate adviser Altus Group.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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