Pub chain JD Wetherspoon warns of full-year loss as WFH takes toll on sales

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has warned of annual losses after it raised staff wages and increased spending on repairs and marketing amid a slow recovery in the cash retail sector.

In May Wetherspoon was expecting to make up for pre-tax losses due to the pandemic after two consecutive years.

The group said the recovery of many pub businesses was 'slower and more laborious' than expected, while the sector was also struggling with increasing costs and a drop in consumer spending triggered by rising inflation.

The pub chain, which has over 800 locations in the UK and Ireland, said like-for-like sales for the first 11 weeks of the Q4 fell by 0.4% compared with the same period of 2019.

Sales of cask beers, lager and cider - formerly the biggest driver among pubs - were 8 per cent lower than expected in 2019; the company said.