Wetherspoon shares tum­ble as chair­man forced to go part-time

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

Shares in JD Wetherspoon dropped on Wed­nes­day as the pub group hinted at weaker an­nual per­for­mance and chair­man Tim Martin re­vealed he would be tem­po­rar­ily work­ing part-time af­ter a health scare.

The share price was down 9.5 per cent be­fore lunchtime as in­vestors ab­sorbed a first-quar­ter trad­ing up­date in which the chain said like-for-like sales in­creased by 5.5 per cent and to­tal sales were up 6.2 per cent.

De­spite strong growth, Mr Martin said the com­pany was deal­ing with tough com­par­a­tives, hav­ing de­liv­ered sev­eral years of record prof­its.

“It is dif­fi­cult to be too pre­cise at this early stage of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year but we now ex­pect a trad­ing out­come slightly below that achieved in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year,” he said

“We will pro­vide fur­ther up­dates on our trad­ing as we progress through the year.”

Mr Martin also re­vealed he has been re­cov­er­ing from an op­er­a­tion af­ter a burst ap­pen­dix so will be work­ing part-time from home for “sev­eral weeks”.

Se­nior in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor Liz McMeikan will chair the gen­eral meet­ing next week in his ab­sence. The group also said it is in­creas­ing staff wages in re­sponse to record lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment.

The move fol­lows a strike by a small num­ber of staff last month. Wetherspoon’s will not ini­tially raise prices to cover the in­crease but could later re­vise this.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.