JD Wetherspoon sees "slow" sales growth in third quarter

09 May 2018 by
JD Wetherspoon sees "slow" sales growth in third quarter

Pub group JD Wetherspoon has reported an "anticipated" slow like-for-like sales growth of 3.5% in the third quarter.

It attributed the reduction in like-for-like sales to the exclusion of the May Bank holiday which fell within Q3 last year and "is likely to have reduced like-for-like sales by about 0.5% in the period."

In the 13-week period to 29 April 2018, JD Wetherspoon saw total sales rise by 2.8%. Year-to-date like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% and total sales by 3.8%.

Since the start of the financial year, JD Wetherspoon opened five new pubs and sold 19. It has spent £15.4m on buying the freeholds of pubs of which it was previously tenant and has bought back £51.6m of shares.

The chairman of JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, said: "As anticipated, the rate of like-for-like sales growth slowed slightly in the third quarter.

"We continue to face significant cost increases in the second half in areas which include labour, business rates and the sugar tax. There is also some uncertainty as to the effect on sales of the FIFA World Cup.

"We continue to anticipate a trading outcome for this financial year in line with our previous expectations."

He also raised concerns about taxes on non-EU food and drink imports, urging parliament to eliminate them to "improve living standards."

He continued: "It makes no sense for the UK to continue to impose taxes on New World wines, coffee, rice and thousands of other products, and then to send the proceeds to Brussels. The EU masquerades as a free trade organisation, but it is really a protection racket which imposes import taxes on the 93% of the world's population that is not in the EU.

"The UK should copy countries like New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, which have successfully adopted free trade policies, rather than being beholden to the undemocratic EU and its unelected presidents."

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