JD Wetherspoon profits fall

Tax and regulation blamed for drop.

Public house firm JD Wetherspoon's pre-tax profits fell by 11 per cent to £32.2m last year.

The company, which owns 787 outlets, blamed increases in energy, food, labour and tax costs for the drop.

The group did, however, record half-year sales of £525.4m, up 7.6 per cent on previous figures.

Speaking to the BBC, Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon said: "Britain has now become a high tax and regulation environment for business, with the effects of this being seen in many thousands of closed pubs and other small businesses across Britain, as well as a marked increase in unemployment."

The company has opened 14 new pubs in the last six months, closing two.