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Wetherspoons fans face despair as £30million loss means 32 pubs may go

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Wetherspoons have put 32 of its pubs up for sale after suffering an annual loss of £30million.The company, who enjoyed pre-pandemic yearly profits in excess of £100 million, have acted despite the losses not being as heavy as the £154 million hit they took during the previous financial year.

Tim Martin - Wetherspoons' founder and chairman - is still fuming at the Covid-enforced lockdowns, which he deemed were an overreaction, arguing that it was unlikely that the virus would have spread in his spacious venues. READ MORE: Meghan Markle and Harry plan 'reconciliation' with royals after memoir and Netflix seriesHe has also warned that more lockdowns in the future would represent "the biggest threat to the hospitality industry", amid the rising supply and energy costs that pubs are also currently facing.

Martin added that Wetherspoons are in a better position than many hospitality companies contending with rising interest rates, having fixed its own borrowing costs until 2031 - a decision that he now describes as "a fluke".But he also reiterated that he feels the tax advantages that supermarkets have over pubs in regards to paying VAT on food remain unfair.Wetherspoons' sales were down 4.3% to £1.74 billion during the year ending in July.Martin's 22% stake in Wetherspoons is now reportedly worth £125m, which represents a £364 million drop from its pre-pandemic value.To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.But shares in the company did, at least, leap from 54p to £4.92 recently and, at that price, the business would be worth £625 million.It is predicted that many of the pubs for sale will be bought by rival chains, with Stonegate, now the largest pub company in the UK,.

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