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FT Opening Quote: Rise in profits for JD Wetherspoon

Summary:
Rise in profits for JD Wetherspoon, Ofcom and BT agree on Openreach and Esure exceeds growth targets. FT Opening Quote is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here. Tim Martin just can’t help himself from making political statements in financial reports by his pub group JD Wetherspoon.This time, the company chairman has steered clear from commentary on the EU, of which he is conspicuously not a fan.But even while reporting a near 43 per cent rise in profits in the three months ending on January 22 compared to the same spell last year, to £51.4m, he has taken a swing at this week’s Budget. After a 3.3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the quarter, he has also warned of slower sales in the months ahead.Chancellor Philip Hammond promised a discount on business rates for pubs with a ratable value of less than £100,000. But Mr Martin says:In fact, that sum is dwarfed by tax and regulatory increases.Companies like Wetherspoon, on examination of the fine print of the budget, are not, in fact, eligible for the £1,000 per annum decrease in business rates, in any event.The company has previously emphasised the far-higher taxes per meal or per pint that pubs pay compared to supermarkets.

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Rise in profits for JD Wetherspoon, Ofcom and BT agree on Openreach and Esure exceeds growth...

Siona Jenkins
Former Cairene; FT Middle east news editor. Views my own.

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