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Wetherspoon results take focus on quiet Friday

Results from the FTSE 250 pub chain will likely contain more Brexit-related rhetoric from chairman Tim Martin as the UK's various political crises rumble on

JD Wetherspoon - Wetherspoon results take focus on quiet Friday

A week ahead of its Friday 13th annual results, pub chain JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) trumpeted a 20p cut to a pint of ale as founder Tim Martin continued to bang the drum about the potential benefits he sees from Brexit.

This came on the same day that the Institute of Alcohol Studies published research calling for higher taxes on supermarket alcohol sales, making beer poured in pubs relatively cheaper.

Although Martin will continue to beat around the Brexit bush, the 20p price cut touches on one of the likely main themes of the results.

A surge in costs this year, particularly in staff wages, will mean Wetherspoons is unlikely to report higher profits, as it has focused on growing sales, with like-for-like growth reported in July at around 6.7%, with total sales up 7.4%, well ahead of most of its rivals.

But Peel Hunt said this will mean PBT could fall by around 4% as the company has “sacrificed margins and profits to drive higher sales”, having not increased average drinks prices this year.

However, this is much less than the 23% decline in first-half profit, as second-half cost pressure is expected to have slightly reduced.

Meanwhile, the corporate calendar will also include a trading announcement from staffing firm SThree PLC (LON:STHR), while on the macro front there will be little going on apart from US retail sales data.

Significant announcements expected for Friday September 13:    

Finals: JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW)

Trading announcements: SThree PLC (LON:STHR)

Economic data: US retail sales, US Michigan

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