Profits at Brexiteer's pub chain knocked as prices rise for fifth time in two years

PUBLISHED: 09:41 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 15 March 2019

Rachel Johnson's says credit  if not a standing ovation  must be paid to Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin. Photo: Bloomberg

Rachel Johnson's says credit  if not a standing ovation  must be paid to Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin. Photo: Bloomberg

Profits at Wetherspoon tumbled in the first half of the year, with food and drink price rising for the fifth time in two years.

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JD Weatherspoon boss with Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Michael Gove. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.JD Weatherspoon boss with Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Michael Gove. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Pre-tax profits in the six months to January 27 fell by 18.9% to £50.3 million as costs rocketed by about £33 million.

In recent weeks the Brexiteer Tim Martin’s pub chain was forced to increase the price of food and drink for fifth time in two years - despite being paraded on television and radio to claim that Brexit food price rises are a myth.

Revenue, however, still rose 7.1% to £889.6 million and like-for-like sales were up 6.3% in the period.

Chairman Tim Martin said: “As previously indicated, costs in the second half of the year will be higher than those of the same period last year.

“The company anticipates an unchanged trading outcome for the current financial year.”

Brexit-backing Martin used his latest pub chain update to wade into politics.

“Previous referendum results on major constitutional issues have always been respected in the UK, but if parliament votes either for Theresa May’s ‘deal’ (which keeps us in the EU by the back door) or to remain in the EU, the referendum result will not have been respected.

“This may well have significantly adverse economic consequences, as the country turns in on itself to endure months, or years, of stifling constitutional argument.”

The 63-year-old was unveiled as the youthful face of the new Leave Means Leave campaign for young people, entitled ‘Future for Leave’.

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