Wetherspoon chief executive Tim Martin has pointed the finger at Aldi and other discount supermarkets for the company's recent sales slump.
As reported by the UK's Independent, Martin (pictured) blamed "Aldi and others opening outside the big cities", once again calling for equality in VAT rates for supermarkets and pubs,
"Beer and wine lines are their main promotional lines. The whole industry will be under pressure until there is tax equality with supermarkets," he said.
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Like-for-like sales increased by 1.7 per cent in the last three months to the end of April but operating margin was 7.5 per cent compared to eight per cent for the same period last year.
The chain, which owns over 900 pubs in the UK and Ireland, recently cut the cost of its breakfasts and hot beverages in a bid to push sales. A filter coffee costs just €1 in the pubs.
It expects its operating margin to be between 7.3 and 7.7 per cent this year.