JD Wetherspoon profit falls on higher costs

PUB group JD Wetherspoon this morning posted a 2.7 per cent drop in first-half profit, as input costs rose.

Pre-tax profit for the group, which has 800 pubs in the UK, was logged at £34.8m for the half year to 27 January, down from £35.8m over the same period in the previous year.

Revenue rose 10 per cent to £626.4m, with underlying sales over the period up 6.9 per cent.

Higher costs in areas such as tax and food pushed its margin down one per cent year-on-year to 8.3 per cent for the first-half, reducing the impact of rising sales brought on by cash-strapped customers choosing its value-led offers over more expensive competitors.

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, continued his call for parity between VAT on alcohol in supermarkets and pubs.