Wetherspoons hit by rising tax bill as it expects "reasonable outcome" this year

Wetherspoons chairman Tim Martin has slammed the "far higher taxes" imposed on pubs than on supermarkets in a comment on the chain's results today.

Already, 10,000 pubs have closed and many others are suffering, through insufficient investment. In particular, there should be VAT equality for pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.

Wetherspoon, along with many other pub and restaurant groups, is supporting Jacques Borel's VAT Club on Tax Parity Day (Wednesday 25 September) - and we will offer a one-day 7.5% reduction in our prices, to publicise this inequality.

The company's preliminary results showed that taxes paid have increased by £32.2m in the 52 weeks ended 28 July (release).

Wetherspoons saw profit before tax down by three per cent to £57.1m, but since the end of the period has seen solid like-for-like sales growth.

In the six weeks to 8 September 2013, like-for-like sales increased by 3.6%. In the last fortnight, like-for-like sales were 2.5% - and this level may be an indicator for future sales growth. Overall, the company is aiming for a reasonable outcome in the current financial year.