Christmas bookings ‘in good shape’ for Fuller’s

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Company figures: Fuller's has released its results in a trading update (image: Getty/Olivier Le Moal)
Company figures: Fuller's has released its results in a trading update (image: Getty/Olivier Le Moal)

Related tags Fullers Managed pubs Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased

South east-based firm Fuller’s has reported Christmas bookings are in “good shape” in a trading update for the first half of this financial year.

In financial results for the 26 weeks to 26 September 2021, revenue was up from £45.6m to £116.3m compared to the previous year.

Managed like-for-like sales for the seven weeks to 13 November 2021 were at 90% of 2019 levels and the updated also reported tenanted inns were performing ahead of plan.

Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “While the first half of this financial year has been a story of slowly returning to some semblance of what was known as normality, I am proud of what we have achieved. We have used the time wisely, planning for the future, further improving our already robust infrastructure and focusing on our people, our properties, our supplier relationships and our systems.

“Like for like sales in our managed pubs and hotels continue to grow steadily and for the seven weeks to 13 November 2021 stand at 90% of 2019 levels. Christmas bookings are in good shape and there is clearly continued appetite from our customers to get out and socialise with friends and family.”

Further commitment

Fuller’s is planning to develop the business through investment in property and infrastructure, Emeny said.

He added: “At our pubs and hotels, this will include further winterisation projects at sites including the Head of the River in Oxford and the Red Lion in Barnes, as well as transformational schemes at the White Star Hotel in Southampton among others. In a further commitment to continually premiumising our offer, we will also be rolling out our next Bel & The Dragon at The George & Dragon in Westerham.

“Our infrastructure projects will also be coming to fruition in the coming months, starting with the roll out of Microsoft Business Central, our new finance package, which goes live on Monday 22 November 2021 – just in time for the arrival of our new Finance Director, Neil Smith, who comes with a wealth of relevant industry experience and starts at the end of November.

“We will complete our wider digital transformation projects with upgraded pub websites and our improved CRM system providing a fantastic digital shop window and even more targeted communications based on our customers’ existing behaviours.”

The company stated it was in a good position to weather the plethora of issues currently facing the sector.

Well-documented issues

“We are pleased with the steady growth we are seeing across our pubs and hotels and we will benefit as international tourists return and office workers continue to head back to their desks and colleagues,” Emeny said.

“There are a number of well-documented issues facing the industry as a whole and, while we are not immune, we are a long-standing business that is well funded, backed by a substantial, predominately freehold estate, and has the benefit of experience to help us navigate through.

“Our vision and strategy are clear, consistent and relevant. We have a well-balanced business in both style and geography and we have a first-class team of dedicated people right across the Company. Fuller’s has, and always will have, a long-term view and a strategic plan that reflects that – and we will continue to deliver it."

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