BusinessPubs and Bars

JD Wetherspoon posts 5% sales growth

Pub group JD Wetherspoon has posted a modest like-for-like sales growth of 5% for the year ending 29 July 2018.

The discount pub chain’s revenue increased to £1.69bn from £1.66bn when compared with the previous year.

The company’s profit before tax rose to £89m from £76.4m in 2017 and it ended the financial year with an operating profit of £132.3m. JD Wetherspoon’s total net debt increased by £29.9m to £726.2m.

The company opened six pubs during the year, closed or sold 18, resulting in an estate of 883 pubs at the end of the financial year. Its bar and food sales both saw increases of 5.1%.

The chain announced that it would be scrapping German liqueur Jagermeister, French brandies Courvoisier VS and Hennessy Fine de Cognac and replacing them with non-EU beverages.

It said the move would make its pubs more competitive and offer best choice and value for its customers.

Tim Martin, the chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said: “Like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 9 September increased by 5.5%. 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, so we estimate that like-for-like sales growth of about 4.0% will be required for the company to match last year’s record profits.”

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