Fuller's acquires Bel & The Dragon

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

New acquisition: the six Bel & The Dragon sites acquired by Fuller's are seen as a 'perfect fit' with the current estate
New acquisition: the six Bel & The Dragon sites acquired by Fuller's are seen as a 'perfect fit' with the current estate
While releasing its financial results for the 52 weeks ending March 31 2018, Fuller, Smith & Turner (Fuller's) announced that it has acquired Bel & The Dragon.

Bel & The Dragon’s six sites across Surrey and Berkshire will join Fuller’s portfolio, which saw strong performance from both Managed Pubs and Hotels and Tenanted Inns divisions, over the past year.

Managed Pubs and Hotels saw like-for-like sales growth of 2.9%, while Tenanted Inns saw like-for-like profits rise 3%.

The Bel & The Dragon sites are Fuller's latest acquisition following the addition of four city bars​ from We Are Bar group in May 2018.

Results also revealed that while total beer and cider volumes were flat in the year ending 31 March, volumes during the first nine weeks of the new fiscal year were down 3%.

Financial highlights

  • Revenue up 5% to £403.6m (2017: £384.6m)
  • EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) up 2% to £70.9m (2017: £69.2m)
  • Adjusted profit up 3% to £43.2m (2017: £42.1m)
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 4% to 62.9p (2017: 60.23p)
  • Total annual dividend up 4% to 19.55p (2017: 18.8p)

Commenting on the results, Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “The year has seen another good performance with a solid set of results, particularly from [all] Fuller’s inns [divisions]. It has been a year of building for the future – with a number of internal projects coming to fruition. In February, we were delighted to acquire Dark Star Brewing, a craft cask brewer in Sussex and, since the year-end, we have purchased an additional 10 excellent sites.

“Our Managed Pubs and Hotels have again delivered like-for-like sales that are above the industry average and our Tenanted Inns are making real progress with a 3% increase in profits. Although we have seen a marginal drop in total beer and cider volumes, it has been a year of progress for the Fuller’s Beer Company, which has a clear strategy to return to growth and exciting, achievable plans in place.

“The four sites we have acquired from We Are Bar Group are good, well-located additions to our City business and the six Bel & The Dragon sites are a perfect fit with our existing quality estate. They offer delicious, fresh food, an interesting and premium drinks portfolio and 57 bedrooms – all areas where we have expertise.

“While we are still in a time of national and global uncertainty – and we do not underestimate the related wider market and economic issues that we will have to navigate over the months ahead – we believe we are in a strong position.

“We have an excellent team of motivated people both at management level and throughout the business, we have pubs that are well-invested and in strong, iconic locations, and we have a bold and proud portfolio of beer and cider brands. These assets are backed by a robust financial position and that puts us in a good place to continue to deliver for our shareholders, our customers and our employees.”

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