Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has today announced record pre-tax profits of £76.9m - more than £3.5m, or 8.8%, than last year.
Like-for-like sales rose by 5.8% on previous years with earnings per share also up by a record 46.8%.
Welcoming the figures, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: "I am pleased to report another year of progress, with record sales, profit and earnings per share, despite having paid £551.5m in taxes and rewarding staff with £28.6m of bonuses."
He added that it was unsustainable to have higher taxes for pubs than supermarkets, and pointed out that thousands of pubs had closed, with others suffering, due to inadequate investment.
Wetherspoon has 38 pubs in the North East, with four opened in the last year and another three due to open this year, at Norton in Stockton, Byker, Newcastle, and Blyth in Northumberland.