Pub firm boss hits out at EU oli­garchs

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - BUSINESS - BY RAVENDER SEMBHY

JD Wether­spoon’s Brex­it­back­ing chair­man took aim at EU “oli­garchs” as the pub firm posted re­sults show­ing ris­ing sales and prof­its.

Rev­enue rose 4.1% to £1.66bil­lion in the 12 months to July 30 as the group booked pre-tax prof­its of £102.8 mil­lion, a year-on-year in­crease of 27.6%.

Like-for-like sales rose 4% in the pe­riod, with Wether­spoon say­ing com­pa­ra­ble sales had in­creased by 6.1% since Au­gust.

Chair­man Tim Martin said: “This is a pos­i­tive start, but is for a few weeks only and is very un­likely to con­tinue for the rest of the year.

“Com­par­isons will be­come more stretch­ing and sales, which were very strong in the sum­mer hol­i­days, are likely to re­turn to more mod­est lev­els.

“It is an­tic­i­pated that like-for-like sales of

“Pre­vi­ously ac­cused the EU of bul­ly­ing the UK over Brexit”

around 3-4% will be re­quired in or­der to match last year’s profit be­fore tax.”

Mr Martin has pre­vi­ously ac­cused the EU of bul­ly­ing the UK over Brexit. He has also lashed out at former chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne, the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, the Bank of Eng­land, the CBI, Goldman Sachs, Mor­gan Stan­ley and PwC, who he claimed were all too neg­a­tive about Brexit.

Yes­ter­day, he said: “Politi­cians from the UK are deal­ing with un­elected oli­garchs from the EU. As a re­sult of their cur­rent pos­tur­ing and threats, EU ne­go­tia­tors are in­evitably en­cour­ag­ing im­porters like Wether­spoon to look else­where for sup­plies.”

Wether­spoon’s big­gest ever sin­gle in­vest­ment is go­ing into the EU through a new pub and 98-bed­room ho­tel in Dublin.

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