JD Wetherspoon celebrates return to profit despite inflationary pressures

JD Wetherspoon has published its prelimary results for the 26 weeks ended 29 January 2023.

Before separately disclosed items the figures stand at:
Like-for-like sales (vs FY19) up 5%
Revenue £916m (2019: £889.6m) up 3%
Profit before tax £4.6m (2019: £50.3m) down 90.9%
Operating profit £37.4m (2019: £63.5m) down 41.1%

After separately disclosed items
Profit before tax £57.0m (2019: £48.6m) up 17.3%
Operating profit £37.4m (2019: £63.5m) down 41.1%
Basic earnings per share 29.4p (20192: 36.8p) down 20.1%

Commenting on the results, Chairman Tim Martin said, “Trade for the last seven weeks was 9.1% above the equivalent period in FY19 and 14.9% above the equivalent period in our last financial year (FY22).

“As reported last year, the company has a full complement of staff, although the labour market is competitive, with unemployment, in spite of economic problems, at approximately its lowest level in the last 50 or so years.

“Supply or delivery issues have largely disappeared, for now, and were probably a phenomenon of the stresses induced by the worldwide reopening after the pandemic, rather than a consequence of Brexit, as many commentators have argued.'

Tim went on, “Inflationary pressures in the pub industry, as many companies have said, have been ferocious, particularly in respect of energy, food and labour. The Bank of England, and other authorities, believe that inflation is on the wane, which will certainly be of great benefit, if correct.

“Having experienced a substantial improvement in sales and profits, compared to our most recent financial year, and with a strengthened balance sheet, compared both to last year and to the pre-pandemic period, the company is cautiously optimistic about further progress in the current financial year and in the years ahead,' Tim closed.