Brexit Hits JD Wetherspoon As Sales Growth Slows
Tim Martin (pictured), chairman of UK pub operator JD Wetherspoon, who supported the Brexit campaign, has commented in a recent trading statement that the company's sales growth "has slowed in recent weeks" and that he expects higher costs for the remainder of the year.
Although "the company’s sales growth has been strong in the last few months", he warned that there is uncertainty in regards to deals with European suppliers while Britain handles its exit from the European Union, reports The Irish Times.
Martin said that the company's sales growth had decreased to 2.3 per cent in the last five weeks ending 23 October, down from a previous 3.5 per cent growth for the 13 weeks ending at the same period. He added that higher costs for the year were "in the areas of wages, business rates and repairs" and that any forecasts for the full year are "inevitably tentative".
"If we, and companies like ours, are unable to agree on tariff-free transactions, it will inevitably result in a loss of business for European companies which have done nothing to deserve this outcome," added Martin.
Despite previously seeing its revenue increase by 5.4% to £1.595 billion for the 52 weeks to 24 July 2016, the group has been forced to reevaluate its Irish expansion plans, which had originally planned for the opening of 30 new bars in Ireland as well as a €4 million pub and 98-bedroom hotel on Camden Street.