Wetherspoon To Seek Debt Waivers As Sales Remain Weak

By Dave Simpson
Wetherspoon To Seek Debt Waivers As Sales Remain Weak

British pub group JD Wetherspoon has said that it is planning to seek debt waivers from its lenders for the next financial year, as like-for-like sales continued to slump despite the easing of pandemic restrictions.

The company said that like-for-like bar and food sales slipped 49% between April 12 and May 16, a period when outdoor dining was permitted albeit with some restrictions, while sales were still down 14.6% between May 17 and July 4 when pubs were fully open.

First-Half Loss

Wetherspoon slumped into a first-half loss in March and has had to remove hundreds of employees and raise money to get through the health crisis, which forced its pubs shut all through the key Christmas season last year.

The British government, which started easing some of the curbs earlier this year, announced plans this week to lift all restrictions on July 19.

Expecting A Yearly Loss

The company, which currently has most of its 860 pubs open, reiterated that it expects to make a loss for the year ending July 25. It expects its net debt to fall to £833 million by the end of this financial year from £865 million as at July 4.


Expansion Plans

Wetherspoon plans to open 18 new pubs and upgrade 57 others, and will invest approximately £750 million on similar projects in the next 10 years.

It was reported earlier this week that the British pub group has purchased an office building on Dublin's Aston Quay for €9 million and is planning to spend an additional €4 million on transforming it into a pub.

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