Shares in JD Wetherspoon surge to record high

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon said its Irish efforts are “absolutely” concentrated on developing its long-sought €15m bar and hotel in Camden Street in Dublin, as its boss blasted “unelected oligarchs” from the EU for putting the bloc’s economy at risk over Brexit negotiations.

Shares rose almost 10% to a record high after the owner and operator of more than 900 pubs in Britain and Ireland reporting a near 28% jump in profit before tax and exceptional items to just under £103m (€117m).

Its shares have shrugged off any hit from a Brexit-induced slowdown, gaining around 29% so far this year and outperforming its peers.

The group currently operates five pubs in Ireland — four in suburban Dublin and one in Cork — and has long-term plans to operate 40-50 premises here.

A €15m hotel/pub development on Camden Street will be its sole focus for the next 18 months with any further acquisitions put aside for the foreseeable future, a spokesman said.

The chain’s boss, Tim Martin blasted the EU’s negotiation team in relation to Brexit. “It is my view that the main risk from the current Brexit negotiations is not to Wetherspoon, but to our excellent EU suppliers -- and to EU economies...as a result of their current posturing and threats, EU negotiators are inevitably encouraging importers like Wetherspoon to look elsewhere for supplies,” he said.

Mr White said his firm was “extremely confident” it could switch from EU suppliers if negotiations stalled.

— Additional reporting Reuters


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