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Wetherspoon boss toasts rising sales as he launches into another Brexit rant

PUBLISHED: 10:51 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 15 September 2017

Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoons, at The Bell Hotel in Norwich during his pro-Brexit tour

Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoons, at The Bell Hotel in Norwich during his pro-Brexit tour

Archant

JD Wetherspoon has posted rising full year sales and profit, while the pub chain’s Brexit-backing chairman took aim at EU “oligarchs” in yet another rant.

Revenue rose 4.1% to £1.66 billion in the year to July 30 as the group booked profits of £102.8 million, an increase of 27.6%.

Like-for-like sales rose 4% in the period, with Wetherspoon saying that comparable sales have increased by 6.1% since August.

Chairman Tim Martin said: “This is a positive start, but is for a few weeks only - and is very unlikely to continue for the rest of the year.

“Comparisons will become more stretching - and sales, which were very strong in the summer holidays, are likely to return to more modest levels.

“It is anticipated that like-for-like sales of around 3-4% will be required in order to match last year’s profit before tax.”

Mr Martin has previously used company statements to accuse the EU of bullying the UK and ripped into a number of Remain figures.

He has lashed out at former chancellor George Osborne, the IMF, the Bank of England, the CBI, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and PwC, who he claims were too negative about the impact of a Leave vote.

On Friday it was no different.

He said: “In the current negotiations, democratically-elected politicians from the UK are dealing with unelected oligarchs from the EU.

“As a result of their current posturing and threats, EU negotiators are inevitably encouraging importers like Wetherspoon to look elsewhere for supplies.

“This process is unlikely to have adverse effects on the UK economy, as companies will be able to switch to suppliers representing the 93% of the world’s population which is not in the EU, but this evolution will eventually be highly damaging to the economy of the EU.”

Mr Martin also claimed that the EU’s stance on Brexit is doing damage to “struggling economies” like Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, where he pointed to youth unemployment levels.

Despite his diehard Brexit stance, Mr Martin in June announced Wetherspoon’s biggest ever single investment will go into the European Union through the development of a new pub and 98-bedroom hotel in Dublin city centre.

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