Wetherspoons have put 32 of its pubs up for sale after suffering an annual loss of £30million.
The company, who enjoyed pre-pandemic yearly profits in excess of £100 million, have acted despite the losses not being as heavy as the £154 million hit they took during the previous financial year.
Tim Martin – Wetherspoons' founder and chairman – is still fuming at the Covid-enforced lockdowns, which he deemed were an overreaction, arguing that it was unlikely that the virus would have spread in his spacious venues.
READ MORE: Meghan Markle and Harry plan 'reconciliation' with royals after memoir and Netflix series
He has also warned that more lockdowns in the future would represent "the biggest threat to the hospitality industry", amid the rising supply and energy costs that pubs are also currently facing.
Martin added that Wetherspoons are in a better position than many hospitality companies contending with rising interest rates, having fixed its own borrowing costs until 2031 – a decision that he now describes as "a fluke".
But he also reiterated that he feels the tax advantages that supermarkets have over pubs in regards to paying VAT on food remain unfair.
Wetherspoons' sales were down 4.3% to £1.74 billion during the year ending in July.
Martin's 22% stake in Wetherspoons is now reportedly worth £125m, which represents a £364 million drop from its pre-pandemic value.
To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.
But shares in the company did, at least, leap from 54p to £4.92 recently and, at that price, the business would be worth £625 million.
It is predicted that many of the pubs for sale will be bought by rival chains, with Stonegate, now the largest pub company in the UK, expected to be potential suitors.
Here is a full list of the 32 pubs that are for sale:
- Barnsley – Silkstone Inn
- Beaconsfield – Hope & Champion
- Bexleyheath – Wrong ‘Un
- Bournemouth – Christopher Creeke
- Cheltenham – Bank House
- Durham – Water House
- Halifax – Percy Shaw
- Hanham – Jolly Sailor
- Harrow – Moon on the Hill
- Hove – Cliftonville Inn
- London Battersea – Asparagus
- London East Ham – Miller's Well
- London Eltham – Bankers Draft
- London Forest Gate – Hudson Bay
- London Forest Hill – Capitol
- London Hornsey – Toll Gate
- London Holborn – Penderel's Oak
- London Islington – Angel
- London Palmers Green – Alfred Herring
- Loughborough – Moon & Bell
- Loughton – Last Post
- Mansfield – Widow Frost
- Middlesbrough – Resolution
- Purley – Foxley Hatch
- Redditch – Rising Sun
- Sevenoaks – Sennockian
- Southampton – Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis
- Stafford – Butler's Bell
- Watford – Colombia Press
- West Bromwich – Billiard Hall
- Willenhall – Malthouse
- Wirral – John Masefield
Conman who splashed £4.4m of stolen money on yachts and horse called Fat Gary found dead
Pub landlady who knifed teen she wrongly thought was husband's lover found guilty
Kate Middleton makes subtle nod to Meghan Markle with outfit choice on royal visit
Prince Andrew ex Fergie gives update on Queen's corgis now they are living with the pair
Brave moment good Samaritans tackle knife-wielding thugs who try to steal phone
Source: Read Full Article