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JD Wetherspoon FY Profit Rises

British pub operator JD Wetherspoon Plc. (JDW.L) reported that its profit for the 52 weeks ended 29 July 2018 increased 66.71 million pounds or 63.2 pence per share from 56.58 million pounds or 50.8 pence per share in the previous year.

Profit before tax and exceptional items increased by 4.3% to 107.2 million pounds from 102.8 million pounds in the previous year. Earnings per share, before exceptional items, were 79.2 pence compared to 69.2 pence in the previous year.

Operating profit, before exceptional items, increased by 2.9% to 132.3 million pounds from the prior year.

Like-for-like sales, adjusted for 52 weeks, increased by 5.0%, compared to 4.0% growth in 2017. Total sales were 1.69 billion pounds, an increase of 2.0%. Like-for-like bar sales increased by 5.1%, food sales by 5.1%and slot/fruit machine sales by 2.9%.. Hotel room sales increased 2.3%.

The board proposes, subject to shareholders' approval, to pay an unchanged final dividend of 8.0 pence per share, on 29 November 2018, to shareholders on the register on 26 October 2018, giving an unchanged total dividend for the year of 12.0 pence per share.

In view of the level of capital expenditure and the potential for investments, the board has decided to maintain the dividend at its current level for the time being.

Like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 9 September increased by 5.5%. The company has had a reasonable start to the financial year, but taxes, labour and interest costs are expected to be higher than those of last year, so we estimate that like-for-like sales growth of about 4.0% will be required for the company to match last year's record profits.

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