JDW raises almost £200m amid coronavirus crisis

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Restart plan: JD Wetherspoon will be reopening its pubs on 4 July
Restart plan: JD Wetherspoon will be reopening its pubs on 4 July

Related tags Jd wetherspoon Coronavirus

Pub behemoth JD Wetherspoon (JDW) raised a total of about £141m before fees, following a share placing in April 2020, it has announced in a business update.

A group of the company’s lending banks has also approved a further £48.3m loan through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

In a trading update in relation to Covid-19, the operator also said it will be opening its pubs on Saturday 4 July, in line with Government guidance. It stated following consultation with employees, which had more than 3,000 suggestions, the pub company has created the ‘Wetherspoon Covid-19 Secure Operating Plan’, which sets out how it intends to safely operate pubs upon reopening.

Employee survey

It doesn’t intend to start any new pub development projects in the next 12 months but a small number of projects that were ‘on site’ when pubs closed will be finished in due course.

The company conducted an employee survey and as of Thursday 18 June, it had received responses from 36,004 (82%) of its employees.

Some 99% (35,616) of respondents intend to return to work but just over one in 10 (4,090) are not able to return immediately due to maternity leave, caring responsibilities or health issues.

A number of employees (388) said they do not intend to return to work and have either resigned or intend to.

Condolences given

Just over 1,900 employees said they are either shielding or are vulnerable and a percentage will not be able to return to work at this stage.

A proportion of JDW staff have tested positive for Covid-19 (79 employees), of which 74 said they have recovered and five are still unwell.

Two members of staff died at the end of April, having tested positive for Covid-19 and JDW said its condolences went to their families, friends and colleagues.

The group’s financial year ends of 26 July 2020 and following guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Reporting Council relating to the challenges preparing accounts at the present time, the full year results are now due to be announced on 9 October 2020.

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