Food sales drive managed performance at Fuller’s

By Mark Wingett, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Fuller's said food sales rose by 14% as the company pursued its goal of being as famous for its food as its beers
Fuller's said food sales rose by 14% as the company pursued its goal of being as famous for its food as its beers

Related tags Public house Simon emeny

Fuller’s has reported a 6.5% increase in like-for-like sales across its managed pubs and hotels division, helped by a rise in like-for-like food sales of 7.7% for the 26 weeks to 27 September 2014.

Its tenanted inns’ like-for-like profits increased by 5% in this period and total beer and cider volumes rose by 6%.

The company said it had seen a positive start to the second half of the year and trading for the 33 weeks to 15 November 2014 had been good. Like-for-like sales in its managed pubs and hotels have increased by 6.8%, while its tenanted like-for-like profit is up by 3%. Total beer and cider volumes rose 4% during the first 33 weeks.

Total revenue for the group for the half year increased by 10% to £161.6m and this resulted in adjusted pre-tax profit rising by 8% to £19.6m. Adjusted earnings per share climbed by 12% to 27.67p (2013: 24.79p), while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 9% to £30.7m.

The company also announced that, with the ever increasing amount of Government intervention in the sector, it had decided to put more resources behind its corporate affairs.

Fuller’s said: “Therefore, after more than 20 years running one of the industry’s most successful sales forces, Richard Fuller will be taking up a new position of corporate affairs director. He will act as Fuller’s main liaison with the Government, industry and the communities in which we operate.”

It said food sales rose by 14% as the company pursued its goal of being as famous for its food as its beers.

M&C Report​ talked to chief executive Simon Emeny about the trading environment, coffee, complementary businesses and pub code:

Pubs code
On last week’s vote on the pubs code, Emeny said: “It is not going to directly impact us, but I think it is terribly misguided. I think, ultimately, it will end up penalising the very people some MPs think it is going to help. I do really fear for what it will do for many community pubs in the long term.

Emeny said: “50% of our estate is inside London and 50% outside, and the performance of the business has been fairly consistent across all of the estate. It was a very nice early summer, August was damp, but September and October were good.”

The Stable
Emeny said: “Twenty years ago we developed the highly successful Ale & Pie concept and we believe The Stable is the opportunity to do something similar — this time with cider and pizza. “It is an embryonic business and we have invested in it at just the right time for us. We are close to finalising terms on four new sites, which will open in the next 12 months. These are all in character-properties and in university towns and cities.”

Complementary businesses
Emeny said: “The investments we have already made — Cornish Orchard, Sierra Nevada and The Stable — broadens the portfolio activities we have got and lets us spread our geographical reach further into the south and south-west. I think the development plans we have with all three make it an exciting time for the business. They give us an extra growth engine. “We have more than enough things to work on at the moment rather than explore other opportunities at present.”

Coffee lessons
Earlier this year, the group opened a coffee shop, the Fields, in an empty property next to the Plough in Ealing. Emeny said: “We are selling more than 1.25m cups of coffee a year now and we needed a centre of excellence to train our staff and The Fields will do that for us.”

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