J.D. Wetherspoon PLC reported a swing to pretax profit in fiscal 2022, driven by easier comparatives after the ease of Covid-19 restrictions, and said that its outlook is cautiously optimistic.
The British pub chain
reported a pretax profit of 56.7 million pounds ($63.3 million) for the 53 weeks ended July 31, compared with a loss of GBP194.6 million in fiscal 2021.
Revenue rose to GBP1.74 billion from the GBP722.6 million reported a year ago, when pubs were closed for around 19 weeks. However, this was below the GBP1.82 billion reported in fiscal 2019, before the start of the pandemic.
Sales on a like-for-like basis fell 4.7%, the company said.
Wetherspoon said that like-for-like sales in the first nine weeks of the current fiscal year increased by 10%, compared with the same period a year ago.
The company said that its outlook is cautiously optimistic given increases in labour and repair costs and the potentially adverse effects of rises in interest rates and energy costs on the economy.
“The company has improved its prospects in a number of ways in recent financial years – we own an increasing percentage of freehold properties; the balance sheet has been strengthened; interest rates have been fixed at low levels until 2031; we have a large contingent of long-serving pub staff and underlying sales are improving,” the company said.
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