Wetherspoon’s half-empty festive glass

Wetherspoon's founder and chief, Tim Martin, centre. Picture: TSPL

Wetherspoon's founder and chief, Tim Martin, centre. Picture: TSPL

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PUBS group JD Wetherspoon had a quieter run-up to Christmas, with like-for-like sales slowing to about 2 per cent in December and easing further in the past fortnight.

This compared with much stronger sales growth of 6.3 per cent reported in November, with Wetherspoon’s founder and executive chairman Tim Martin, below, again partly blaming the slowdown on competition from cheap “subsidised” alcohol from supermarkets. Profit margins were also squeezed, falling just under 1 per cent to 7.3 per cent, following last year’s 5 per cent rise in pay for staff and a rise in utility and supplier costs. Wetherspoon, whose 40-odd Scottish outlets include the Crystal Palace in Glasgow’s Jamaica Street, said like-for-like sales for the quarter to 18 January rose 2.8 per cent.

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