Record sales and profit for JD Wetherspoon benefits staff

JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin hit out at the taxes paid by the pub industry as he revealed the company had a record year. He said, “I am pleased to report another year of progress, with record sales, profit and earnings per share, despite having paid £551.5m in taxes during the year equivalent to £632,000 per pub and rewarding staff with £28.6m of bonuses. Our post-tax profit increased by £7.9m, yet our taxes paid increased by £32.2m.”
He continued, “It is unsustainable to have far higher taxes for the pub industry than those for supermarkets. Already, 10,000 pubs have closed and many others are suffering, through insufficient investment. In particular, there should be VAT equality for pubs, restaurants and supermarkets. Along with many other pub and restaurant groups, we supported Jacques Borel’s VAT Club on Tax Parity Day and offered a one-day 7.5% reduction in our prices, to publicise this inequality.”
In Scotland this constituted a discount on food, due to the licensing laws which don’t allow price reductions for less than 48 hours. The company revealed that, for the 52 weeks to 28 July 2013 revenue increased to £1,280.9m up from £1,197.1m in 2012, with operating profit increasing to £111.3m up from £107.3m in 2012.
Martin said, “In the six weeks to 8 September 2013, like-for-like sales increased by 3.6%. In the last fortnight, like- for-like sales were 2.5%. This level may be an indicator for future sales growth. Overall, the company is aiming for a reasonable outcome in the current financial year.” The company opened 29 pubs during the year, with three sold, resulting in a total estate of 886 pubs at the financial year end. It currently intends to open around 30 pubs in the year ending July 2014.
Staff also benefited from the companies success, said Martin, “We continue to recognise attracting and retaining the best employees are the keys to future success. In this context, bonuses and free shares totalling £28.6 million, which amounts to 37% of our profits before tax, were paid to employees. About 83% of this sum was paid to employees working in our pubs, with just over half being paid to the pub management team and the remainder being paid to our hourly paid staff.”

Category: News
Tags: JD Wetherspoon, taxes, Tim Martin