The Investment Column: Wetherspoon dips in growth glitch
Wednesday 11 March 1998
Yesterday's first-half figures, showing a 20 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits to pounds 9.7m for the six months to February, reassured investors that Wetherspoon's growth had not stalled and its shares rose 15p to 301.5p. But doubts remain. Wetherspoon has proved it is fallible and it will find it increasingly difficult to keep up the same rate of growth it has achieved in the past. The World Cup is bound to hit sales during the summer as football fans flock to pubs with televisions, competition is hotting up as the big pub chains pump billions of pounds into the market and sites are becoming harder to find.
While Wetherspoon should still be able to fund its ambitious expansion programme without issuing more equity, its finances are looking a bit tight and it has been forced to sell pubs and lease them back to buy new sites.
That said Wetherspoon will open 50 new pubs in the second half alone and more than double the size of its estate by 2001. Margin pressure should also be short-lived.
Panmure Gordon forecasts current year profits of pounds 22.9m rising to pounds 32.8m in the following year putting the shares on a prospective p/e ratio of 28 then 21. The shares deserve their premium rating. Hold.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...