Wetherspoons breaking records with £1.5bn sales
JD Wetherspoon broke the £1.5bn sales barrier for the first time according to its latest figures to the end July. However, it saw a slight fall in pre-tax profits in the full financial year—of 2% to £78m. Like-for-like sales increased by 3.3% (2014: 5.5%), with total sales of £1,513.9m, an increase of 7.4% (2014: 10.0%). Like-for-like bar sales increased by 1.2% (2014: 2.7%), food sales by 7.3% (2014: 12.0%) and slot/fruit machine sales decreased by 2.8% (2014: decreased by 3.1%).
The growth in food sales was due in part to a roll-out of Wetherspoon’s breakfast offer.
Over the last year it has opened 30 pubs. By the year-end, it had a total of 951 pubs.
Commenting on the results, Tim Martin, the Chairman of JD Wetherspoon plc, said, “I am pleased to report a year of progress for the company, with record sales and free cash flow.”
He continued, “As we have previously stated, we believe that pubs are taxed excessively and that the government would create more jobs and receive higher levels of overall revenue, if it were to create tax equality among supermarkets, pubs and restaurants. Supermarkets pay virtually no VAT in respect of food sales, whereas pubs pay 20% – and this disparity enables supermarkets to subsidise their alcoholic drinks sales to the detriment of pubs and restaurants. Wetherspoon is happy to pay its share of tax and, in this respect, is a major contributor to the economy. In the year under review, we paid total taxes of £632.4m, an increase of £32.2m, compared with the previous year, which equates to approximately 41.8% of our sales. This equates to an average payment per pub of £673,000 per annum or £12,900 per week.”