14 September 2012 13:29
JD Wetherspoon has said that screening the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at its pubs pushed sales up, but warned that it did not expect this level of growth to be sustained.
In the six weeks to September 9th, like-for-like sales increased by 8.4%, with total sales increasing by 12.8%, helped by a strong performance during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The company has also invested in its staff, with the introduction of a catering academy, so that kitchen managers benefit from several days' off-site training. In addition, the company now has a "record number" of employees on its apprenticeship programme and has also extended the general range of its training courses.
However, the company hit out at "stealth taxes" imposed by the Government, including recently-announced changes to fruit/slot machine duty, which the company estimated would cost it an extra £2 million per annum and the so-called late-night levy, which applies to pubs, but not supermarkets, which will result in Wetherspoon paying an additional £2 million.
In a statement, the company said: "All pubs and pub companies are, or should be, happy to pay their share of tax, but the pub industry has been fleeced by the government, in the last decade and a half in particular – resulting in fewer jobs and lower taxes, but more supermarkets, in the UK."