Wetherspoon Sees Better Results Next Year As Cost Pressures Ease

By Dave Simpson
Wetherspoon Sees Better Results Next Year As Cost Pressures Ease

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin on Wednesday 12 July said the British pub chain was expecting better results next year amid signs that soaring food and energy costs were starting to cool, lifting its shares by 11%.


Pubs and restaurant groups have been hit hard by forced closures during the COVID pandemic followed by red-hot inflation in Britain, which has pushed up costs and squeezed margins.

However, "promising green shoots" are seen for energy and some food costs, which has helped lift expectations, Martin told Reuters.

The company also offloaded some pubs to keep a check on costs and reduce debt.

Like-for-like sales in the first 10 weeks of the fourth quarter, ending July 31, were up 11% from the same period pre-pandemic in 2019 and rose 11.5% compared to same the period last year.


Real ale sales, competitive prices and the fact that its pubs were open for breakfast helped, Martin said, adding full-year profits were expected to be in line with market estimates.

Shares in the London-listed company rose to 735 pence ($9.50) by 0900 GMT on Wednesday 12 July, set to post the biggest one-day percentage gain in over three months.

"The hospitality sector is facing tough economic conditions currently but this could work to JD Wetherspoon's advantage as consumers look for affordable options when going out," said Jocelyn Paulley, retail & leisure partner at Gowling.

However, with stubbornly high inflation rates, pub owners continue to face a threat as cash-strapped shoppers may still turn to supermarkets to stock up on beers, wines and spirits instead of going out.

Additional Information

The firm should not go "popping the champagne corks just yet", eToro analyst Adam Vettese said.


"Households are still being clobbered by rising interest rates and higher inflation, which might affect consumer spending on things such as eating out and going to the pub."

Read More: Wetherspoon's Busiest Saturday Lifts Profit Expectations

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