Wetherspoons profits hit by higher labour costs despite sales rise

Galtero Lara
Марта 15, 2019

Reality dawned today, as the FTSE 250 company chaired by Tim Martin reported an 18.9 per cent fall in profit before tax and exceptionals to £50.3 million in the half-year to January 27 as costs took their toll on its margins.

He said there had been "a barrage of negative economic forecasts" from universities, politicians and the media, on what would happen if the United Kingdom left without a deal.

"The doomsters ignore the most powerful nexus in economics, between democracy and prosperity - and the fact that the EU is becoming progressively less democratic, as it pursues an "ever-closer union", for which there is no public consensus".

The pubco pointed to rising costs, in particular labour, which increased by £33m.

The decline came despite a 6.3pc rise in like-for-sales, which strips out new openings, with revenues up 7pc to £889.6m.

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Shares rose 1pc to £13.05 in morning trading.

He explained: "As previously indicated, costs in the second half of the year will be higher than those of the same period last year".

Bar sales saw a like-for-like increase of 5.9% and food sales increased by 7.1%.

'Pubs create significantly more jobs and more taxes per pint or per meal than do supermarkets and it does not make social or economic sense for the United Kingdom tax régime to favour supermarkets, ' he said.

He added that in the six weeks to March 10, like-for-like sales increased by 9.6% and total revenue jumped 10.9%, helped by good weather and favourable comparables.

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