JD Wetherspoon PLC, a British pub chain, today released its preliminary results for year end 28 July 2013. Earnings per share before exceptional items, including the number of shares held in trust by the employee share scheme, increased by 12.6% to GBP044.8.
On a 52-week basis like-for-like bar sales increased by 3.8%, food sales by 10.9% and machine sales by 0.4%, with the catering team upgrading and promoting new items, such as traditional ales and ciders from the UK and a wide range of bottled beers, wines and spirits from the rest of the world, which has helped to produce strong sales growth.
Operating profit before exceptional items increased by 3.7%, however after exceptional items the profit decreased by 2.5%. Profit before tax and exceptional items increased by 6.3% to GBP76.9m and after exceptional items, decreased by 3.0% to GBP57.1m.
Exceptional items included the impairment of trading pub assets of GBP7.8m, a provision for onerous leases of GBP2.2m, an IT-related asset write-off of GBP1.7m, a loss on the disposal of property, plant and equipment of £1.1 million and restructuring costs of £0.6 million. The total impairment provision is now £30.1 million, compared with the original cost of our assets of GBP1.5bn.
The company said it continues to improve the business by upgrading IT systems, including faster credit card approval and the Myjdw website to enable better communication between employees and the company.
Wetherspoon’s also invests in training staff with both government sponsored apprenticeship schemes and its own schemes, to attract and retain the best employees. In the last year bonuses and free shares totalling 37% of its profits before tax amounting to GBP286m were paid to employees.
In addition JD Wetherspoon expects to have a total of 886 pubs by the end of the next financial year with the acquisition of 30 new pubs before the end of July 2014.