Wetherspoon (JD) PLC - Half-year Report

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

 

Before exceptional items

 

 

  Revenue £889.6m (2018: £830.4m)                          

+7.1%

  Like-for-like sales                                                       

+6.3%

  Profit before tax £50.3m (2018: £62.0m)

  Operating profit £63.5m (2018: £74.0m)

  Earnings per share (including shares held in trust) 37.4p (2018: 45.7p)

-18.9%

-14.2%

-18.2%

  Free cash flow per share 67.9p (2018: 34.8p)

+95.1%

  Interim dividend 4.0p (2018: 4.0p)

Maintained

 

After exceptional items*

 

 

  Profit before tax £48.6m (2018: £54.3m)

  Operating profit £63.5m (2018: £74.0m)

-10.5%

-14.2%

  Earnings per share (including shares held in trust) 36.0p (2018: 39.2p)

-8.2%

         

*Exceptional items as disclosed in note 7 to the Interim Report 2019.

Commenting on the results, Tim Martin, the Chairman of J D Wetherspoon plc, said:

"The vexed debate about Brexit has continued since the referendum, nearly three years ago. Although the public voted to leave, the majority of 'the establishment', including most MPs, most universities, the Bank of England, the CBI and media organisations such as The Times, the Financial Times and The Economist favoured 'Remain'.

"The result has been a barrage of negative economic forecasts from those quarters, predicting that the UK will go to hell in a handcart without a 'deal' with the EU - which will effectively tie the country into EU membership and taxation, yet without representation.

"The doomsters ignore the most powerful nexus in economics, between democracy and prosperity - and the fact that the EU is becoming progressively less democratic, as it pursues an 'ever-closer union', for which there is no public consensus.

"Previous referendum results on major constitutional issues have always been respected in the UK, but if parliament votes either for Theresa May's 'deal' (which keeps us in the EU by the back door) or to remain in the EU, the referendum result will not have been respected. This may well have significantly adverse economic consequences, as the country turns in on itself to endure months, or years, of stifling constitutional argument.

"In appendix 1 below can be found an excellent article on these issues from The Spectator magazine, by former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. In appendix 2, there is a less good article by me, from the latest edition of Wetherspoon News.

"In the six weeks to 10 March 2019, like-for-like sales increased by 9.6%, helped by excellent weather this year and snow last year, and total sales increased by 10.9%.

"As previously indicated, costs in the second half of the year will be higher than those of the same period last year. The company anticipates an unchanged trading outcome for the current financial year."

Current trading and outlook

The vexed debate about Brexit has continued since the referendum, nearly three years ago. Although the public voted to leave, the majority of 'the establishment', including most MPs, most universities, the Bank of England, the CBI and media organisations such as The Times, the Financial Times and The Economist favoured 'Remain'.

The result has been a barrage of negative economic forecasts from those quarters, predicting that the

UK will go to hell in a handcart without a 'deal' with the EU - which will effectively tie the country into EU membership and taxation, yet without representation.

The doomsters ignore the most powerful nexus in economics, between democracy and prosperity - and the fact that the EU is becoming progressively less democratic, as it pursues an 'ever-closer union', for which there is no public consensus.

Previous referendum results on major constitutional issues have always been respected in the UK, but if parliament votes either for Theresa May's 'deal' (which keeps us in the EU by the back door) or to remain in the EU, the referendum result will not have been respected. This may well have significantly adverse economic consequences, as the country turns in on itself to endure months, or years, of stifling constitutional argument.

In appendix 1 below can be found an excellent article on these issues from The Spectator magazine, by former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. In appendix 2, there is a less good article by me, from the latest edition of

Wetherspoon News.

In the six weeks to 10 March 2019, like-for-like sales increased by 9.6%, helped by excellent weather this year and snow last year, and total sales increased by 10.9%.

As previously indicated, costs in the second half of the year will be higher than those of the same period last year. The company anticipates an unchanged trading outcome for the current financial year.

Tim Martin

Chairman

14 March 2019