JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has attacked government for imposing an “ever-changing raft of ill-thought-out regulations” on the hospitality industry and saying he cannot rule out future job cuts as the company reported its first annual loss in 36 years.

He said the 10pm curfew and requirement for table service “particularly damaging for trade”.

His comments came as the firm said like for like sales were 15 per cent below last year with the pub chain reported a loss of £105.4 million after sales took a £556m hit from the coronavirus crisis.

The company said it saw an increase in business in the weeks following the easing of lockdown but the new restrictions and 10pm curfew have seen this fall back.

READ MORE: Wetherspoon sinks to £105m loss

Speaking to journalists in London on Friday, founder Mr Martin said it was “difficult” to say how long the chain could last without further fundraising, adding it “kind of depends on the Government”.

He said: “We can last for a decent amount of time, possibly a year or two, but if everything goes into Tier 3 (restrictions), it will shorten the times. It will be (able to last) forever if we go back to what (measures) was applied on July 4.”

HeraldScotland: Tim Martin, after speaking to reporters. PA Wire.Tim Martin, after speaking to reporters. PA Wire.

Asked if he would be forced to “reduce headcount”, Mr Martin said: “You can’t rule anything out at the moment.”

The company suffered a £29m hit from one-off costs due to coronavirus, including £5.9m in drinks and food that had to be thrown away, £6.2m on PPE, screens and other equipment to make pubs Covid-secure, and £17.1m on staff costs.

However, it benefited from a £15.9m payout from HMRC over a gaming machine dispute. The loss is the first time the chain has sunk into the red since 1984 but the company remains confident that it can continue to trade.

No details were provided on potential or recent job losses.

Mr Martin accused the Government of "panicking" and "shooting from the hip" in regard to recent coronavirus restrictions placed on pubs, including the introduction of the 10pm curfew.