Sep 13, 2019

JD Wetherspoon founder hits at ‘elite Remainers’ as profits fall

JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has lashed out at "Elite Remainers" for ignoring the long-term benefits of leaving the EU after his pub group said that profits dropped more than 4 per cent owing to higher costs during the year. The company said that like-for-like sales rose almost 7 per cent, with revenues climbing to £1.8bn, a 7.4 per cent increase in the year to July 28, although pre-tax profits fell to £102.5m before exceptional items such as real estate costs. After including the exceptional impact of actions over its properties, profit before tax rose 7.2 per cent to £95.4m. Analysts at Shore Capital said that, after adjusting for real estate moves, underlying pre-tax profit for the year was "Some £5m below our forecast". On Friday, Mr Martin said that the "Elite Remainers are ignoring the 'big picture', regarding lower input costs and more democracy, and are mistakenly concentrating on assumed short-term problems, such as potential delays at Channel ports - which are easier to extrapolate on their computer models". Peel Hunt has said that the group has been sacrificing margins and profits to drive higher sales.

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