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Pub/Bar/Nightclub

Wetherspoon Posts Higher Annual Profit

By Dave Simpson

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon Plc has reported an increase in full-year profit as a record heatwave brought in more customers, but the group said it expects higher costs this year.

The company, which owns and operates more than 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland, said like-for-like sales rose 5.5% in the six weeks ended September 9.

"The company has had a reasonable start to the financial year, but taxes, labour and interest costs are expected to be higher than those of last year," chairman Tim Martin said.

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Wetherspoon, like its rivals, has been bogged down by significant costs from a new sugar tax on beverages, a minimum wage increase, rent increases and higher power bills.

Heatwave And World Cup

But a record heatwave across the United Kingdom had helped bring in more people into Wetherspoon pubs.

In July, the group had also said the Football World Cup was drawing in more customers.

The company's higher sales over the summer was largely due to warm weather rather than the Football World Cup, Martin, who campaigned in favour of Britain's exit from the European Union, told BBC radio.

Wetherspoon's pre-tax profit after exceptional items rose to £89 million in the year ended July 29, up 16.5% from year earlier. Like-for-like sales climbed 5%.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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