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December 1, 2009    

JD Wetherspoon embarks on expansion with creation of 10,000 jobs

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by Kay Murchie

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon brings some good news to the economy today by announcing it is to open 250 new pubs and create 10,000 jobs.

The new pubs will be located in Sheffield, Livingston, Leominster, Otley, New Malden, Liverpool, Haverfordwest and Newcastle and are part of a £250 million investment over a five-year period.

JD Wetherspoon appears to be bucking the trend and in September announced its best ever annual results despite the economic downturn.

The group said takings rose 1.2% in the year to 26 July, with underlying pre-tax profits up 13.6% to £66.2 million.

The pub operator also reported sales of £955.1 million during the period - a record since the firm was incorporated in 1983.

Meanwhile, the pub chain which has almost 750 pubs across the UK, said the expansion will create management opportunities, as well as jobs for bar and kitchen staff.

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin comments: “Our pubs are extremely popular and we wish to build on their success by opening more.

“I am confident that the new pubs will be an asset to their respective towns and cities.”

The pub chain, which has a workforce of more than 20,000, opened its first pub in December 1979.

The news comes just a few days after the Beer and Pub Association said around 50 pubs are calling time each week in Britain.

However, not only has the recession hit the pub trade, so has the smoking ban and changes to the Licensing Act.

To combat the smoking ban, many Wetherspoon pubs offer outside sheltered areas which aim to keep smokers customers warm and dry by providing awnings, patio heaters and, in many cases, fireplaces have become permanent fixtures outside many establishments where space allows.

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Tags: Beer and Pub Association, buck the trend, closing down, , , , JD Wetherspoon, , , pubs, , smoking ban