JD Wetherspoon reveals financial highlights, criticises budget

Tim Martin: JD Wetherspoon reveals financial highlight, criticises budget
Tim Martin: JD Wetherspoon reveals financial highlight, criticises budget
10/03/2017 - 08:59
JD Wetherspoon has revealed its financial highlights as like-for-like sales rose 3.3% and revenue rose 1.4% for the 26 weeks leading up to January 22nd 2017, from £790.3 million to £801.4 million.

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said: “In the six weeks to 5 March 2017, like-for-like sales increased by 2.7% and total sales decreased by 0.2%.

“As previously announced, the company intends to increase the level of capital investment in existing pubs from £34m in 2015/6 to around £60m in the current year.

Martin took the opportunity to address the business rates discount in the budget, revealed by the chancellor on Wednesday, March 8, in light of the results.

Martin said: “Wednesday’s budget was presented by the Chancellor as providing tax relief of approximately £1,000 per pub, for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000.

“In fact, that sum is dwarfed by tax and regulatory increases. For example, costs to Wetherspoon will increase by approximately the following amounts in the next year:

Business rates: £7m

Electricity taxes: £4m

Excise duty: £7m

Apprenticeship Levy: £2m

Martin said: “In addition, the proposed sugar tax will cost approximately £4m from April 2018 and there will be further electricity tax increases of around £5m by 2020.

“Companies like Wetherspoon, on examination of the fine print of the budget, are not, in fact, eligible for the £1,000 per annum decrease in business rates, in any event.”

The spring budget was announced by the Chancellor Philip Hammond MP on Wednesday.

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