Wetherspoon reveals drop in half year operating margin

Pub chain Wetherspoon saw its operating margin for the half year ended January 27th come in around 1.1 per cent lower than the previous year at 8.2 per cent.

Pub chain Wetherspoon saw its operating margin for the half year ended January 27th come in around 1.1 per cent lower than the previous year at 8.2 per cent.

This was as a result of slightly higher than expected increases in costs in areas such as tax, utilities, labour and bar and food supplies, combined with increased marketing costs.

The group's figures were otherwise moving in the right direction, with year-to-date (24 weeks to January 13th) like-for-like sales up 7.6% and total sale up 11.2%.

In the first 11 weeks of the second quarter, to January 13th, like-for-like sales rose 8.0%, while total sales climbed 11.3%.

In the financial year to date the company has opened five new pubs and currently has 12 sites under development.

"Our sales, profit and cash flow continue to be resilient, in spite of the continuing taxation and regulation burden on the pub industry and the on-going pressure on consumer's disposable incomes," the group said.

"The board expects a reasonable outcome for the current financial year."

The share price fell 2.35% to 519.50p by 09:15.

NR

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