Wetherspoon posts half-year loss as restrictions hit

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Wetherspoon posts half-year loss as restrictions hit

Related tags: Wetherspoon, Tim martin, Coronavirus, Pub & bar

JD Wetherspoon has posted a pre-tax loss of £46.2m for the six months to 24 January, as the 'ever-changing Government guidelines' took their toll on takings.

The pub giant reported that revenue more than halved to £431.1m, with like-for-like sales down 53.9%.

During the half year period Wetherspoon opened two new pubs, bringing the number of sites in its estate to 872.

In recent years the pubco has placed around 100 of its pubs on the market, the majority of which have now been sold.

Wetherspoon currently has liquidity of £235m.

Earlier this year the group raised £93.7m in new equity​ ​following a share placing.

It also secured a second Business Interruption loan of £51.7m this month, having previously agreed a £48.3m loan in August last year.

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, said: “Wetherspoon and its employees, along with the hospitality industry, have worked very hard to comply with ever-changing government guidelines.

"It is disappointing that so many regulations, implemented at tremendous cost to the nation, appear to have had no real basis in common sense or science - for example, curfews, ‘substantial meals’ with drinks and masks for bathroom visits.

“The future of the industry, and of the UK economy, depends on a consistent set of sensible policies, and the ending of lockdowns and tier systems, which have created economic and social mayhem and colossal debts, with no apparent health benefits.”

Wetherspoon's latest results come after the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) reported earlier this week that £8.2bn was wiped from the pub sector in beer sales last year​.

Yesterday (18 March) Stonegate, the UK's largest pub company, reported a pre-tax loss of £746m for the full year to 27 September 2020​ as a result of the pandemic.

Related topics: Pubs & Bars, Business

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