Wetherspoon warns over ris­ing costs

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

JD WETHERSPOON has posted ris­ing first-quar­ter sales but warned that its costs have risen sig­nif­i­cantly over the last year.

The pubs chain said like-for­like sales rose 6.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to Oc­to­ber 29, with to­tal sales grow­ing 4.3 per cent. But chair­man Tim Mar­tin pointed to in­creased labour costs, busi­ness rates, util­i­ties and su­gar taxes weigh­ing on the firm.

He said: “Al­though it is only a short pe­riod, the com­pany has had a pos­i­tive start to the year. Sales have con­tin­ued at a slightly higher-than-ex­pected level since we last re­ported on Septem­ber 15.

“Costs, as many pub and restau­rant com­pa­nies have in­di­cated, have been sig­nif­i­cantly higher than last year, and fur­ther in­creases are ex­pected in ar­eas in­clud­ing labour, busi­ness rates, util­i­ties and su­gar taxes.”

How­ever, the firm an­tic­i­pates full-year trad­ing to meet ex­pec­ta­tions . Mr Mar­tin, a staunch Brexit backer, also said the “low­est food prices” can be ob­tained by the UK by avoid­ing a tran­si­tional deal with the EU.

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