13 March 2015
After exceptional items
Commenting on the results, Tim Martin, the Chairman of J D Wetherspoon plc, said:
“The first half of the financial year resulted in a reasonable sales performance and free cash flow, although our profit was under pressure from areas which included increased competition from supermarkets and increased pay and bonuses for pub staff.
As previously highlighted, the biggest danger to the pub industry is the continuing tax disparity between supermarkets and pubs. Thanks mainly to the work of Jacques Borel’s VAT Club, there is a growing realisation among politicians, the media and the public that pubs are overtaxed and that a level tax playing field will create more jobs and taxes for the country.
In the six weeks to 8 March 2015, like-for-like sales increased by 1.6%, with total sales increasing by 5.6%.
The company has successfully established a strong coffee and breakfast trade in recent years, selling approximately 50m Lavazza coffees and teas per annum and about 24m breakfasts – more breakfasts (according to research by CGA Peach) than are sold by Caffè Nero or Pret a Manger. We are increasing our efforts in this area by introducing more competitive prices from Wednesday 18 March.
Lavazza filter coffee, with free refills, will be available at 99p or under, between 8am and 2pm daily, at approximately 880 pubs. We are also introducing more competitive prices for breakfasts. Our aim is to triple coffee and breakfast sales over the next 18 months. On the same date, we are introducing several drinks offers, reflecting greater supermarket competition, including Magners Cider (568ml) and Punk IPA (330ml) at £1.99, at approximately the same number of pubs. Marketing and labour costs may be higher than anticipated in the second half, as a result of the coffee and breakfast campaigns.
The second half of the last financial year was strong, which will make it difficult to improve on that performance in the current year, although we expect a reasonable outcome for the full financial year, even so.”
|Q3 Interim Management Statement||6 May 2015|
|Q4 Interim Management Statement||15 July 2015|