Wetherspoon's good start to year unlikely to continue, says chairman

15/09/2017 - 09:10
JD Wetherspoon plc has reported its preliminary results for the 53 weeks ended 30 July 2017 which show revenue and like-for-like sales (before exceptional items) up on last year.

Although revenue of £1.66 million was up 4.1% on 2016 and like-for-like sales similary experiencing growth of 4%, chairman Tim Martin warned that the positive start was "unlikely to continue."

“Since the year end, Wetherspoon’s like-for-like sales have continued to be encouraging and have increased by 6.1%,” said Martin. “This is a positive start, but is for a few weeks only – and is very unlikely to continue for the rest of the year. 

“Comparisons will become more stretching – and sales, which were very strong in the summer holidays, are likely to return to more modest levels. It is anticipated that like-for-like sales of around 3–4% will be required in order to match last year’s profit before tax. 

“We will provide updates as we progress through the year. We currently anticipate a trading outcome for the current financial year in line with our expectations.” 

The pub operators pre-tax profit and its operating profit were both significantly up compared to last year at 15.6% and 17.1% respectively.

Earnings per share, including those held in trust, stand at 69.2p, up 43.3% on 2016's numbers.

Despite experiencing growth across the board, Martin contiuned to speak out about the possible damaging affects Brexit could have on trade.

“It is my view that the main risk from the current Brexit negotiations is not to Wetherspoon, but to our excellent EU suppliers – and to EU economies. 

“Wetherspoon is extremely confident that it can switch from EU suppliers, if required, although we would be very reluctant to initiate such actions.”

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