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LONDON -- Wetherspoon (LSE: JDW.L ) has released its preliminary results for the 53 weeks to July 29, 2012, in which it announced record sales, profit and earnings per share.
Revenue was up 11.7%, at 1,197.1 million pounds, pre-tax profit increased 8.4% to 72.4 million pounds, and earnings per share rose 17% to 41.3 pence (all before exceptional items). Earnings per share have now grown by an average of 16.8% every year since Wetherspoon's flotation in 1992. The full-year dividend for 2012 will, however, remain the same as for 2011, at 12 pence per share, giving a current yield of just under 2.5%.
Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoon, said:
I am pleased to report a year of further progress for the company, with record sales, profit and earnings per share before exceptional items.
As previously indicated, the biggest dangers to the pub industry, are the VAT disparity between supermarkets and pubs, combined with the continuing imposition of stealth taxes, such as the late-night levy and the increase in fruit/slot machine taxes.
In the six weeks to 9 September 2012, like-for-like sales increased by 8.4%, with total sales increasing by 12.8%, helped by a strong performance during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Wetherspoon's share price is now up over 30% on its low of May this year, and 21% up on this time last year. Given the one-off nature of the London 2012 games, sustaining such high-level growth may prove challenging, but the company is anticipating "a reasonable outcome" for this financial year.
This update from Wetherspoon underlines how great companies can become good investments for ordinary investors.
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