Pubs boss at­tacks UK’s plans for Brexit

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Grace Ham­mond NEWS RE­PORTER @ york­shire­post

Wether­spoon’s boss has launched an at­tack on the Gov­ern­ment’s Brexit plan as he re­views the pub chain’s prod­uct ranges ahead of the UK’s de­par­ture from the EU.

For the 10 weeks to July 8, Wether­spoon’s sales rose by 5.2 per cent on a like- for- like ba­sis, with to­tal sales up by 5.6 per cent.

Like- for- like sales were up 5.2 per cent, and the com­pany ex­pects to hit tar­gets for the full year. The chain opened six new pubs in the year, and sold 23, with th­ese dis­pos­als con­tribut­ing to a £ 9 mil­lion one- off cost to the busi­ness be­cause they were sold be­low the value recorded on the com­pany’s bal­ance sheet. The firm also spent £ 15.6 mil­lion on buy­ing up the free­holds of its pubs.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Martin warned that he was an­tic­i­pat­ing “con­sid­er­able” cost in­creases next year due to busi­ness rates, wage rises and the sugar tax.

Mr Martin, who was a prom­i­nent Brexit cam­paigner, said Wether­spoon had been re­view­ing its prod­uct range ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Wether­spoon has stopped stock­ing French cham­pagne and is now sell­ing sparkling wine from the UK and Aus­tralia, and its pubs now also sell wheat beer from the UK and Amer­ica in­stead of Ger­many. Mr Martin also used his mar­ket up­date to launch an at­tack on Theresa May.

Mr Martin said: “Un­sur­pris­ingly, the Prime Min­is­ter has run into dif­fi­cul­ties by mak­ing the mis­take of pri­ori­tis­ing a ‘ deal’ with the un­elected EU rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which they have lit­tle in­cen­tive to ac­com­mo­date, rather than a sensible im­ple­men­ta­tion of Brexit in ar­eas un­der the con­trol of Par­lia­ment.

“Ninety- nine per­cent of the ben­e­fits of leav­ing the EU, in­clud­ing the avoid­ance of vast fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions, the elim­i­na­tion of tar­iffs and the reac­qui­si­tion of fish­ing rights, need no agree­ment from any third party.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.