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Wed 27th Jan 2021 - JDW founder Tim Martin sell shares worth £50,255,000, takes stake down to 21.88%
JDW founder Tim Martin sell shares worth £50,255,000, takes stake down to 21.88%: JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has sold shares in the company worth £50,255,000, believed to be the largest share sale he has ever undertaken in the company whilst publicly listed. He sold 4,370,000 of the company’s ordinary shares at a price of £11.50 pence per share on 26th January 2021. The company added: “The sale was in response to significant buying interest following the company placing last week. Tim Martin has agreed to a lock up arrangement on his remaining shareholding that runs until the release of the announcement of the company’s results for the 52 weeks to 25 July 2021 that is expected to take place in September 2021. As a result of the transaction, Tim Martin’s holding in the company now comprises 28,174,709 shares which is 21.88 % of the issued share capital of the company.”

‘No plans’ to extend VAT cut for hospitality, minister says: The government has ‘no plans’ to extend the VAT cut for hospitality, tourism and leisure firms, despite industry calls for the tax break to continue while the sector is under coronavirus restrictions. Rishi Sunak last year reduced VAT for hospitality firms from 20% to 5% as part of emergency coronavirus measures. The tax cut is due to end on 31 March, although industry lobbying groups have urged the Chancellor to extend it further while coronavirus restrictions remain in place. However treasury minister Jake Norman today said the government has ‘no plans’ to extend the cut to VAT for the sectors, despite the uncertainty over reopening. “The relief comes at a significant cost, and while the government keeps taxes under review, it has no current plans to extend it further,” Norman told MPs. Pub and restaurant industry bodies have previously said it is “essential” for the sector’s recovery that the VAT cut continues, along with an extension to the business rates holiday.

Starbucks reports like-for-like sales down 5% in its First Quarter: Starbucks has reported global like-for-like sales were down 5% in the 13-week ended December 27, 2020, its First Quarter. The global decline was driven by a 19% decrease in comparable transactions, partially offset by a 17% increase in average ticket. Americas like-for-like sales declined 6%, driven by a 21% decrease in comparable transactions, partially offset by a 20% increase in average ticket. International like-for-like store sales were down 3%, driven by a 10% decline in comparable transactions, partially offset by an 8% increase in average ticket. China like-for-like sales were up 5%, driven by a 9% increase in average ticket, partially offset by a 3% decline in transactions. The company opened 278 net new stores in the First Quarter of fiscal 2021, yielding 4% year-over-year unit growth, ending the period with 32,938 stores globally, of which 51% and 49% were company-operated and licensed, respectively. Stores in the US and China comprised 61% of the company’s global portfolio at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2021, with 15,340 and 4,863 stores, respectively, Consolidated net revenues of $6.7 billion declined 5% from the prior year primarily due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. President and chief executive Kevin Johnson said: “I am very pleased with our start to fiscal 2021, with meaningful, sequential improvements in quarterly financial results despite ongoing business disruption from the pandemic. Investments in our partners, beverage innovation and digital customer relationships continued to fuel our recovery and position Starbucks for long-term, sustainable growth. Our results demonstrate the continued strength and relevance of our brand, the effectiveness of the actions we’ve taken to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and the steadfast commitment of our green apron partners to serve our customers and communities. We remain optimistic about our robust operating outlook for fiscal 2021 as well as our ability to unlock the full potential of Starbucks to create value for our stakeholders.” 

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