Pub group Wetherspoon drowns its sorrows as first-half profit dips 3.9pc
Pubs group JD Wetherspoon reported a 3.9pc dip in first-half pretax profit and said government tax policy was penalizing pubs and restaurants that were struggling to compete with supermarket sales of cheaper alcohol.
The company owns a number of pubs in Ireland and last year paid €1.5m for a former Baptist church on Dublin's Abbey Street.
The group reported profit before tax of £36m for the 26 weeks to Jan 24 on revenue up 6.2pc to £790.3m, and said it expected a "reasonable" outcome for the full year.
In the first six weeks of its second half, like-for-like sales increased by 3.7 percent and total sales were up 5.7 percent it said on Friday.
Chairman Tim Martin said the group paid 333 million pounds in tax in the first half, an increase of 9.4 percent on the same period a year earlier.
"The biggest danger to the pub industry is the continuing tax disparity between supermarkets and pubs," he said, adding that a level tax playing field would create more jobs and taxes for the country.