Wetherspoon reports strong growth

Its Irish expansion is on hold - and the company has some strong opinions about the Brexit result...

JD Wetherspoon, the publicly-quoted British pub chain that owns five outlets in Ireland, has announced a 3.6% increase in pre-tax profits to £81m for the year to the end of July.

Revenues were more than 5% higher during the period at £1.6bn.

The group doesn’t give a separate breakdown of the Irish performance but earlier this summer noted that the four bars in Dublin and one in Cork were trading well.

Wetherspoon had intended to grow to a network of about 30 outlets here but have put that plan on hold because of rising property prices and planning challenges.

The group’s founder and principal shareholder, Tim Wetherspoon, is a strong supporter of Brexit and is well known for his colourful commentaries in financial statements.

This morning he writes: "Common sense suggests, the worst approach for the UK is to insist on the necessity of a deal with the EU – they sell us twice as much as we sell them.  Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox will achieve far more by copying Francis Drake and playing bowls in Plymouth, rather than hankering for an agreement."

"Just as the combined intellectual weight of the ‘good and great’ could not see through the flaws in the euro, they have, with honourable exceptions, been unable to see that the principle flaw of the EU – an absence of democracy – will almost certainly lead to further economic and political chaos, and to more dire consequences for those who are subject to EU decisions," the statement continued.