StockMarketWire.com - Pub chain J D Wetherspoon suffered a 27.6% drop in like-for-like sales in the 15 weeks to 8 November following the introduction of a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants in England.

It forecast a cash burn of £14 million from the new lockdown in England during November.

The company had £234 million of liquidity as of 25 October 2020 following a share placing in April that raised £137.7 million and a £48.3 million loan from the government's Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

As of today, the company said, 756 pubs in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were closed due to government restrictions, and would remain shut until further government changes.

Wetherspoon has 115 pubs open in Scotland and Wales, but said the Scottish premises were subject to 'an extremely onerous tier system' which was having 'a serious effect on trade'.

Chairman Tim Martin said the 'constantly changing national and local regulations, combined with geographical areas moving from one tier to another in the different jurisdictions, are baffling and confusing'.

'A particular anxiety in the hospitality industry relates to the future timescale for the ending of temporary regulations,' he added.

'Veterans of the industry will recall that the afternoon closing of pubs between about 3pm and 6pm was imposed in the First World War, to encourage munitions workers to return to their factories - but the requirement for afternoon closing was only abolished in 1986.'

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