- Pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon swung to an annual loss and warned of an uncertain outlook for pubs amid what it claimed where 'ill-thought-out' government restrictions to curb the Covid-19 outbreak.

For the year through 26 July, pre-tax losses were £34.1 million, compared with a profit of £102.5 million year-on-year.

Revenue fell to £1.26 billion, down form £1.82 billion.

Chief executive Tim Martin said a national government lockdown was in place for 'far longer than was necessary to achieve its stated objective of "flattening the curve.'"

Like-for-like sales in the first 11 weeks of the new fiscal year were down 15% year-on-year, as strong sales in the first few weeks were offset by a marked slowdown since the introduction of a curfew and other regulations.

The board company said it was not proposing a final dividend payment for the year.

Looking ahead, Martin said the outlook for pubs over the remainder of the current financial year was 'even more unpredictable.'

'The recent curfew and introduction of table service only have been particularly damaging for trade, depressing sales for customers who find it too much 'faff', at the same time as substantially increasing costs.'

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