Wetherspoon lines up Waterford opening and eyes more Irish sites

Wetherspoon lines up Waterford opening and eyes more Irish sites

British pub group JD Wetherspoon is targeting April as the opening date for a planned pub in Waterford, which will be its eighth bar in the Republic.

The group said it is also looking for other sites across the country.

Wetherspoon currently has four pubs in suburban Dublin, one in Carlow town and one each in Dublin and Cork city centres. Most recently it bought the Carbon Nightclub on Eglinton Street in Galway city centre, for which it plans a €2.5m overhaul.

Its largest investment, to date, a €20m superpub/89-bedroom hotel project on Dublin's Camden Street is due to open next summer.

Its most recent opening, here, was the €4m Silver Penny pub on Dublin's Lower Abbey Street.

Wetherspoon said its pubs in Ireland have been doing "very well" as it reported a 7.2% rise in annual pre-tax profit to £95.4m (€107.4m). Revenue for the 12 months to the end of July rose by 7.4% to just over £1.8bn.

The group - which operates nearly 900 pubs across the UK and Ireland - has consistently said it has ambitions to continue growing its presence in Ireland and a spokesperson said it is looking for more sites.

"Despite continuing political problems ... Wetherspoon continues to perform well. Like-for-like sales for the six weeks to September 8 were up 5.9%," chairman Tim Martin said.

Mr Martin, one of the most prominent Brexit backers in British business, said he currently anticipated a "reasonable outcome" for the current year.

He said customers have been unfazed by political wrangling over Brexit.

"Costs were quite high as we invest in the business and gardens and kitchens and people," Mr Martin said.

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