Wetherspoon's Tim Martin thinks that the falling pound will impact Eurozone businesses more than British companies

Oliver Gill
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Tim Martin started pub chain Wetherspoon 37 years ago

Many of Britain's businesses may be feeling the pinch from sterling's recent malaise but the boss of one of Britain's largest pub chains doesn't think it will cause him too much pain.

"The pound has gone up and down over the years and I haven’t noticed over the years a big effect on bar sales and bar costs from those fluctuations," Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin told City A.M.

I haven’t seen that in the past and that’s not a new issue. The pound has constantly fluctuated for the 37 years we’ve been in trade from near parity with the dollar to two dollars to the pound. So I can’t see that’s a major issue.

Read more: Wetherspoon's boss just pointed both barrels at Europe's leaders

A raft of companies are planning to increase prices following sterling's slump of some 20 per cent since the Brexit vote.

Last month, Tesco and Unilever ended up in an unsavoury spat after the supermarket withdrew products such as Marmite from its shelves. It was reported that Unilever wanted to up its prices among some lines in order to maintain profit margins, a move that would contradict Tesco's strategic push to lower supermarket prices.

Meanwhile, for those firms that are unable to change their prices, some are warning investors that profit margins will be squeezed.

Read more: This is the Wetherspoon's dish that just won the company a vegan award

However Martin thought that the current situation was more of a problem for Eurozone firms than for British counterparts.

"The reality is that the supermarkets and the pubs are in an extremely strong position, the European [supplier] companies are in a difficult position through no fault of their own," he said.

However, Martin did admit that food, rather than drink, prices were more susceptible to changes in foreign exchange but added that "it’s too early to say really". Nevertheless, the Marmitegate saga wasn't lost on the man who founded the Wetherspoon.

"We’re considering a Marmite panini [sandwich] but it might [now] have to be quite pricey," he said.

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