Wither now wetherspoon
"Trading conditions have been more difficult in busy town centres and price cuts on key products like Stella Artois and Carling have failed to lift sales
PUB CHAIN JD Wetherspoon disappointed the city analysts with a sharp drop in first-half profits, saying trading had deteriorated over the last month. Pre-tax profit had fallen a whopping 31% to £14.3m, despite a 4% rise in total sales.
The results were attributed to a £6m charge relating to the proposed disposal of 16 of its premises, an 8% rise in the minimum wage, and higher energy costs as well as the effect of the clampdown on binge drinking.
"Trading conditions have been more difficult in busy town centres and price cuts on key products like Stella Artois and Carling have failed to lift sales as much as we had hoped," John Hutson, chief executive told The Financial Times.
With the operator’s commitment to rolling out a nosmoking ban across its estate over the next year analysts will be watching performance carefully, with many reporting they expect to see a sales dip.
This is despite a good performance in this set of results from the two existing nosmoking Wetherspoon’s pubs in Exeter and St Albans.