Wetherspoon's profits fall by 20%

04 March 2005 by
Wetherspoon's profits fall by 20%

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has suffered a 20% fall in profits over its last six month-trading period.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

In the half-year to 23 January 2005, pre-tax profits dropped from £27.8m to £22.3m, compared with the same period last year.

Chairman Tim Martin said high set-up costs for a central distribution system in Daventry, Northamptonshire, which totalled £2.2m, were partly to blame.

Wetherspoon's: tougher trading
"The introduction of this system has been significantly more expensive during this six month period than anticipated," he added. Turnover at the no-frills operator edged up by 4% to £403.3m on the back of six openings in the period. Martin acknowledged business was tough, but remained upbeat about the future. "In spite of the recent slow trading conditions, as a result of our strong cash generation, high level of sales per pub and dedicated team, I remain confident of our future prospects." He also announced further belt-tightening at the Watford-based group in an attempt to balance the books. "The company expects significant savings to be made in the running of pubs and at the head office over the next few months," he said. by Tom Bill Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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