Breakfast business boosts profits at JD Wetherspoon
JD Wetherspoon has seen a 4.1% rise in pre-tax profit and 9% growth in revenue to £774m in the first six months of its financial year, with a strong coffee and breakfast trade boosting its figures.
Food sales increased by 10.1% in the 26 weeks to 25 January 2015, justifying the firm's focus on the daytime food and drink market. Bar sales in the same period increased by 1.5%.
Chairman Tim Martin said that Wetherspoon would continue to focus on driving food sales.
"Our aim is to triple coffee and breakfast sales over the next 18 months," he said.
He added that more competitively priced breakfasts would be introduced, and that in 880 pubs Lavazza filter coffee would be available for 99p or under between 8am and 2pm.
Profit rose 4.1% to £37.5m in the period, but Martin said that it remained under pressure from competition from supermarkets and staff costs.
He said: "As previously highlighted, the biggest danger to the pub industry is the continuing tax disparity between supermarkets and pubs. Thanks mainly to the work of Jacques Borel's VAT Club, there is a growing realisation among politicians, the media and the public that pubs are overtaxed and that a level tax playing field will create more jobs and taxes for the country."
To take on supermarkets Wetherspoon are planning drinks offers including offering Magners Cider (568ml) and Punk IPA (330ml) at £1.99.
Martin warned: "Marketing and labour costs may be higher than anticipated in the second half, as a result of the coffee and breakfast campaigns."