Fuller's calls for energy support 'clarity'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Much needed clarity: Fuller's calls for clarity on energy support package as the company sees £10m energy costs hike
Much needed clarity: Fuller's calls for clarity on energy support package as the company sees £10m energy costs hike

Related tags Fullers Energy Finance Government

Fuller, Smith & Turner has urged the Government to provide “clarity” regarding support packages for the hospitality sector as the London-based operator faces a £10m hike in energy costs.

The push for clarity comes as part of the company’s latest trading update, which revealed its sales for the first 25 weeks of the financial year were up 3% against pre-pandemic levels and 50% vs the same period last year with like-for-like sales up 21% on last year.

Fuller’s​ chief executive Simon Emeny said: “While sales continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we are conscious consumers face increasingly challenging times ahead.

“Businesses across the hospitality sector are experiencing unsustainable increases in energy costs.”

Much needed clarity 

According to the trading update, the company’s total gas and electricity costs for this year were expected to be around £18m, up from £8m the previous year, though this did not consider any potential Government support yet to be announced.

However, Fuller’s​, which has 207 managed businesses,1,030 boutique bedrooms, and 178 Tenanted Inns nationwide, stated it had purchased additional forward contracts to cover its anticipated needs across the winter months.

Furthermore, the company stated it had implemented a “number of initiatives” to reduce energy usage and mitigate cost increases over the medium term.

This comes as businesses​ across the nation continue to wait​ for information regarding the distribution of a £150m energy support package for SMEs, which could be delayed until November according to Government officials.

Emeny added: “Despite having proactively purchased forward contracts to limit the impact on Fuller’s, we will see significant increases this year and do urge the Government to provide much needed clarity on its proposed support package so we can plan accordingly.”

More obstacles 

The update also detailed during the first half of the year, Fuller’s​ opened the Queen’s Arms pub​ at Heathrow Terminal Two, as well as being close to completion with two further sites.

Additionally, in the year to date the company had sold four non-core unlicensed premises, generating proceeds of £6.9m, and plan to use part of these proceeds to fund a repurchase of up to one million ‘A’ shares in the Company.

Emeny said: “We are looking forward to the forthcoming World Cup and our first restriction-free Christmas for three years.

“The future may present more obstacles to navigate, but Fuller’s is a long-term company with a clear vision and the people, properties, and financial fire power to deliver consistent returns in the long term.”

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