Machine income at Wetherspoons was up by nearly 6 per cent in the second half of last year – according to the pubco’s latest financial report.
That metric fit into a wider picture of revenue upturn, with total sales up 6.3 per cent on the 2017 comparative, to £889.6m.
Nevertheless, pre-tax profit was actually down by 19 percent to £50.3m, a result the company’s chairman Tim Martin said was the result of rising costs, particular in relation to labour. With repairs, utilities and depreciation taken into account, costs at Spoons rose by £33m all told.
But Martin didn’t seem too rattled by these numbers: and prepped investors for similar figures for the next trading period.
“As previously indicated, costs in the [next] half of the year will be higher than those of the same period last year,” he said. “The company anticipates an unchanged trading outcome for the current financial year.”
Wetherspoons has tried to streamline itself of late: it closed more pubs than it opened in the six months to January 31 2019, and just this week it announced that it will soon place a further 16 of its pubs on the market.
Don’t go telling Tim Martin that the slump in earnings has anything to do with Brexit, though. An ardent Brexiteer, the man takes every opportunity to denounce nay-sayers of the UK’s impending divorce with the EU.
He used the company’s latest financials to decry “a barrage of negative economic forecasts” regarding a prospective so-called “hard Brexit”scenario.
“The doomsters ignore the most powerful nexus in economics, between democracy and prosperity,” he said.