Wetherspoons attacks UK "budget for dinner parties"

The British chain is feeling the squeeze...

Wetherspoons attacks UK "budget for dinner parties"

The Three Tun Tavern, Facebook

British pub group JD Wetherspoon has experienced its slowest sales growth in seven years - and it is warning that British pubs are under threat from measures in the UK's new budget.

In the six months to January 22nd, its revenues increased by 1.4% to £801.4m (€918m) - the corresponding figure a year ago was 6.2% growth.

The group reports that in the six weeks to March 5th, revenue fell by 0.2% - it grew by 5.7% during the same stretch in 2016. It's warning that sales are likely to fall in the first half of 2017 - while its operating costs increase.

Tim Martin has traditionally not been afraid to include political reflections in corporate filings and he's issued a statement with these figures attacking Wednesday's Budget announcements in London.

He said that May's government's unveiled a "budget for dinner parties" - which he adds are, "No doubt the preference of the Chancellor and his predecessor," while pub goers face higher costs.

He also highlighted the tax discrepancies between pubs and off-licences, and particularly supermarkets.

"Wednesday’s budget will weigh far more heavily on pubs than supermarkets, especially since wage costs per pint or meal are approximately 10 times higher in pubs.," he added.

Today's filings offer no specific information regarding the performance of its five Irish pubs.

It recently announced that it will be the first pub chain in Ireland to include calorie counts on its drinks list.