Pubs company is in the money after profits rise

Tim Martin of Wetherspoon's
Tim Martin of Wetherspoon's

JD Wetherspoon’s profits rose to record levels in the year to July, but the pub group warned it would need to maintain sales momentum to keep up with rising costs.

Profit before tax was up 4.3 per cent to £107.2m, the group’s highest profit in its 39-year history.

Like-for-like sales, which exclude new pubs, rose 5 per cent in the 52 weeks to July 29. Revenue rose 2 per cent to £1.69bn.

Chairman Tim Martin said the current financial year had been “reasonable”, with 5.5 per cent growth in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to September 9.

But he warned higher running costs could hit profits.

He said: “The company has had a reasonable start to the financial year, but taxes, labour and interest costs are expected to be higher than those of last year, so we estimate that like-for-like sales growth of about four per cent will be required for the company to match last year’s record.”