Wetherspoon chairman hits out at ‘elite remainers’

Pro-Brexit JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has slammed “elite remainers” after announcing his pub chain’s annual profits tumbled by 4.5%. The chain’s profit before tax in the year to 28 July 2019 fell to £102.5 million (US$127m) due to higher costs related to real estate, however, revenue increased by 7.4% to £1.8 billion (US$2.2bn). Martin, the main shareholder in JD Wetherspoon and a staunch advocate of Britain’s exit from the EU, used the announcement of…

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Scotch H1 exports reflect ‘uncertainty of future trading conditions’

Scotch whisky exports grew 10.8% to £2.19 billion (US$2.66bn) during the first half of 2019, however a trade body warns that the growth reflects “uncertainty in future trading conditions”. According to HMRC figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the volume of Scotch exports increased by 7.1% to 598 million 700ml bottles. Single malts “continue to grow in popularity”, up 18.8% to £652m (US$794m) during the period. The sub-category makes up 30% of the…

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WSTA: Industry ‘vulnerable’ to no-deal Brexit

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) warns that the industry “remains vulnerable to a disastrous no-deal scenario” following the announcement that Theresa May will step down as UK prime minister. Last Friday (28 May), May said she would resign as Conservative leader on 7 June, with a replacement yet to be named. May has been the subject of criticism in her handling of Brexit – her Brexit deal was overwhelmingly rejected in the House…

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Western Europe: ‘Premium innovation’ key to spirits

Western Europe has always been a key driver for the spirits industry, but with political turmoil throughout the continent drinks companies are having to be fleet of foot to deal with the upheaval. With Brexit, trade wars and the ever­-nearing threat of recession, one could mistake the political narrative in western Europe today for a hyperbolic news report from cult satire TV show Brass Eye. The region is an important, if fraught, mature market for…

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Brexit: WSTA accuses UK govt of ‘pointing the finger’

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) chief executive Miles Beale has accused UK chancellor Philip Hammond of “insulting” British businesses in comments made regarding Brexit preparations. During treasury questions with the UK chancellor, Hammond said that “despite government’s attempts to engage with business” many had taken the “approach of the ostrich in the sand” in relation to preparations for a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU). Hammond added that businesses were “not taking…

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