Spoons boss starts reviews of products

WETHERSPOON’S boss Tim Martin has launched an attack on the Government's Brexit plan as he reviews the pub chain's product ranges ahead of the UK's departure from the EU.

For the 10 weeks to July 8, Wetherspoon's sales rose by 5.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis, with total sales up by 5.6 per cent.

Like-for-like sales were up 5.2 per cent in the year to date, and the company expects to hit its financial targets for the full year.

Wetherspoon opened six new pubs in the year, and sold 23, with these disposals contributing to a £9m one-off cost to the business because they were sold below the value recorded on the company's balance sheet.

The firm also spent £15.6m on buying up the freeholds of its pubs.

Chief executive Tim Martin warned that he was anticipating ‘considerable’ cost increases next year due to business rates, wage rises and the sugar tax.

Mr Martin, who was a prominent Brexit campaigner, said Wetherspoon had been reviewing its product range ahead of the UK's exit from the EU.

Wetherspoon has stopped stocking French champagne and is now selling sparkling wine from the UK and Australia, and its pubs now also sell wheat beer from the UK and America instead of Germany.

Mr Martin also attacked Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mr Martin said: ‘Unsurprisingly, the Prime Minister has run into difficulties by making the mistake of prioritising a 'deal' with the unelected EU representatives.’