Fuller’s plans to build on managed pub estate

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fuller’s future: Simon Emeny believes in the managed business’s strength
Fuller’s future: Simon Emeny believes in the managed business’s strength

Related tags: Fullers

Former brewer Fuller’s will focus on building its pub estate over the next 12 months having pulled out of brewing following the sale to Asahi this year.

Both Fuller’s managed and tenanted sites had shown strong growth for the 52 weeks to 30 March 2019, the operator said in its end-of-year financial statement this month.

“We will be continuing to build on our fantastic estate of iconic pubs in stunning locations,” said Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny.

“There is no doubt that this is a transitional year for the business – but it will be exciting, full of opportunity, and enables us to take this wonderful company to new heights.”

Managed pubs business

The pubco’s managed pubs and hotels business saw sales up 4.9% and revenues up 8% to £298.8m for the period, compared to £271.2m last year and operating profits rose by 5% to £35.1m.

This was all despite a backdrop of increased costs from the national living wage and the apprenticeship levy, as well as business rates and pension contributions, said the results, adding that such costs would not abate soon.

Fuller’s tenanted business saw profits up 1% for the 52-week period, with applicants to enter the tenanted business also on the rise, bringing the portfolio up to 35 pubs.

Overall, the company’s revenue rose by 7% to £431.1m, with profits in line with the same period for last year at £43.2m.

Impossible to review

Emeny added: “It would be impossible to review the last financial year without mentioning the sale, post year-end, of the Fuller’s Beer Business – a transformational move that has changed the face of our company. Fuller’s has always taken decisions for the very long term and this sale was no exception.

“It gives us an even clearer focus on sustainable growth from the higher margin part of our business and has the added advantage of putting us in a strong position to deal with potentially turbulent times ahead as the UK navigates the implications of exiting the European Union.

“Underpinning this position is a premium pubs and hotels business in robust health.

“We have had another year of like-for-like growth that has outperformed the industry, while our successful tenanted business has continued to build on the new turnover agreement that creates genuine, sustainable partnerships between our tenants and ourselves.”

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