British pub group Wetherspoon bullish on Irish growth targets

British pub group Wetherspoon bullish on Irish growth targets

British pub group JD Wetherspoon is continuing to eye new site locations in Ireland as it looks to boost its growing business here in the coming years.

The company currently has seven pubs operating in the Republic and four others in various stages of development. When they are all operational Wetherspoon will have seven in Dublin and one each in Cork, Waterford, Carlow and Galway.

A spokesman for the company said it continues to eye new sites in Ireland, having said last month that the company will invest €30m across its current Irish pub and hotel portfolio this year.

He said Wetherspoon’s Irish properties continued to perform well in the company’s latest reporting period.

On a group-wide basis – Wetherspoon operates more than 900 pubs across the UK and Ireland – the business reported a near 5% rise in like-for-like sales in the three months to mid-January, which represents the second quarter of its financial year.

Late last year, Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said the group has ambitious growth plans for its Irish division, with the ultimate target being to boost its pub numbers here to around 30 in the coming years. 

A lot of that expansion will happen in and around Dublin, where Mr Martin sees there being room for around six more pubs, while Wetherspoon could open “one or two” more in Cork also.

It is understood that Wetherspoon has also turned down a number of sites in Cork for differing reasons, although it is keen to add to its one existing pub in the city.