News: UK pub Wetherspoon’s annual profit drops 24 pct


 J.D. Wetherspoon PLC, a British pub chain, said Friday that annual profit fell 24 percent as food, beer and labor costs rose and a government ban on smoking in pubs discouraged business.

Net income for the year ended July 27 was 35.5 million pounds ($62.5 million), down from 46.8 million pounds the previous year. Revenue over the same period was little changed, rising 2 percent to 907.5 million pounds ($1.6 billion).

The company said that the smoking ban, which took effect in July 2007, caused profitable bar sales to slide by 4.3 percent.

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