JD Wetherspoon is looking for a site in Calais.

It would be the company's first pub across the Channel, though it already has pubs in Ireland.

Chairman and chief executive Tim Martin played down suggestions of a full-blown attack on the French market as a stepping stone to the rest of the European mainland.

After the company reported a 31% rise in interim pre-tax profits to £20.5m on turnover up from £226.7m to £174.7m.

Its shares closed 56.5p lower at 347.5p, topping the list of FTSE 250 fallers. The market is worried about the Government's plan to allow local authorities to block new pub openings.

Financial Times 10/03/01 page 15, page 23 (Companies Diary)

The Times 10/03/01 page 49 (City Diary), page 56, page 2 (yourmoney)

The Daily Telegraph 10/03/01 page 29, page 30 (themarket)

The Independent 10/03/01 page 21, page 22 (Market Report)

The Guardian 10/03/01 page 27, page 29 (Market forces)