Wetherspoon Warns On Costs As Sales Rise 3.5%

By Dave Simpson
Wetherspoon Warns On Costs As Sales Rise 3.5%

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has reported a 3.5% increase in third-quarter comparable sales and stuck by its previous forecasts for results this year while warning it faced significant cost increases in the second half.

Chairman Tim Martin, a well-known supporter of Britain's planned departure from the European Union, also said he was sure the country should leave the EU customs union post-Brexit in aid of reducing taxes on non-EU food and drink imports.

Sales growth at the pub chain was a touch slower than the 4% growth seen a year ago, which the company said was due a later May bank holiday this year that did not fall within the reporting period.

Like other operators in the British pub sector, Wetherspoon has been hit by increased costs, mainly due to wage inflation, rising property costs and unfavourable currency exchange rates.

"We continue to face significant cost increases in the second half in areas which include labour, business rates and the sugar tax," Martin said.

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