JDW ‘hoping to reopen in June’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Salary drop: Tim Martin has taken a 50% pay cut amid the coronavirus crisis
Salary drop: Tim Martin has taken a 50% pay cut amid the coronavirus crisis

Related tags: Coronavirus

Pub behemoth JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has revealed it is planning for the future and estimates its pubs may be able to reopen in June.

The company also announced the impact of its staff and management coronavirus is having when it comes to employment.

JDW spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “JDW has no hotline to the Government as to when pubs might be permitted to reopen and we doubt if the Government itself has yet made a decision on this.

“Like all companies, we are trying to make a plan for the future and are guessing they may be allowed to reopen in late June – about three months after they closed.”

Date estimate

He added: “However, that is just an estimate and may prove to be entirely incorrect. JDW, like all pub companies, closed its doors when ordered to do so by the Government and will only reopen when it is permitted to do so.”

The Morning Advertiser​’s sister title MCA ​reported the group had raised funds of £141m though the placing of 15,668,430 new ordinary shares, which it will use in a bid to secure the business through the pandemic.

The 900-strong company has furloughed 43,000 of its staff and, from the senior management, chairman Tim Martin and CEO John Hutson have both taken a 50% pay cut. It also said it had put an “extensive set of measures to protect profit and cash” into force.

Sales results

Before coronavirus, the business reported half-year results with like-for-like sales up by 4.7% but in the week to 15 March, this fell by 4.5%.

When it comes to reopening, JDW revealed it would be likely to change its operating model and anticipated a gradual recovery in numbers but, due to the average size and outside facilities available at its pubs, it believed these factors were likely to assist if social distancing measures did apply.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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