FTSE 250 pub landlord JD Wetherspoon (LON:JDW) saw its share price plunge by 11.15% to 853p (as of 11:00 BST) after reporting a 30.6% drop in revenues for the year ended 26th July. The business booked a pre-tax loss of £34.1 million for the period, down from a £102 million profit for the prior year.
Chairman Tim Martin commented: “The company has successfully adapted its business, over the last 41 years, to cope with widely different political and economic circumstances. We now employ over 40,000 people, 10,000 of whom are shareholders in the company, and are a major contributor to national income, paying approximately one pound in every thousand of treasury receipts in 2019 and in preceding years.
“However, the company and the entire hospitality industry need a more sensible and consistent regulatory framework in which to operate – the current environment of lockdowns, curfews and constantly changing regulations and announcements threatens not only pub companies, but the entire economy. The most important lesson, as Professor Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University has said, is that “lockdown just defers the problem; it doesn’t solve it“.