Fuller’s lfls up 13.3% while revenue rises 33%

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Optimistic: Simon Emeny said the progress made has given Fuller's ‘the perfect post-Covid springboard for the future’
Optimistic: Simon Emeny said the progress made has given Fuller's ‘the perfect post-Covid springboard for the future’

Related tags Fullers Finance Tenanted + leased Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Property

Simon Emeny of London-based pubco Fuller, Smith & Turner (Fuller’s) has revealed his optimism for the future as like-for-like (lfl) sales rose 13.9% in the 10 weeks to 10 June 2023.

The company, which operates 200 managed pubs and 177 tenanted sites, reported revenues grew 33% to £336.6m in its financial year (FY23) for the 53 weeks ended 1 April 2023 from £253.8m in 2022, as the business recovered from the impact of covid-related restrictions on trade.

Lfl sales grew by 17.5% compared to FY22 with central London growing by 40.1% while adjusted profit before tax increased by 76% to £12.7million (FY22: £7.2m) while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, amortisation and depreciation) was £51.8m (FY22: £44.3m).

The company stated it has a clear long-term strategy, with all elements contributing to growing sales momentum and profitability and it has invested £25m during the year.

Three new pubs opened during the year – the Rising Sun in the New Forest, Hampshire; the Willow in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire; and the Queen’s Arms at Heathrow Terminal 2.

Admiralty reopened

The business has transferred four pubs from managed operations to Tenanted Inns with a further 23 identified, of which four transfers have already completed while a “small number” of pubs have been earmarked for disposal.

A sale has been agreed on the Mad Hatter, Southwark, London, that “will realise £20m in value and a profit on disposal of £17m”.

It has reopened a major site in the Admiralty in Trafalgar Square, following a fire last July and completed £2.5m refurbishment at the Sanctuary House, near Westminster Abbey.

Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “We have made good progress in the past year, with continued investment in our people and properties, providing the perfect post-Covid springboard for the future.

“Looking forwards, that future looks very positive. We continue to build on our five strategic pillars, investing in the areas that have the greatest impact on our business and growing our profitability.”

Nourish the soul

He continued: “We live by our values and our culture, and despite having had a lot to contend with over the past year – with interruptions from tube and train strikes and high-cost inflation in energy, food and wages – our teams across the estate are successfully delivering experiences that nourish the soul.

“I am more optimistic about the future than I have been since before the pandemic. While the well-documented inflationary environment has been a challenge, there are positive signs on the horizon.

“In addition, we are ever hopeful of a resolution to the ongoing train strikes to allow us to further benefit from the increasing numbers of office workers and international tourists returning to the capital.

“We have a clear pathway to further growth based on enhancing profitability from our underlying business, proactively managing our property portfolio to ensure we are getting the best returns and continuing to seek out appropriate acquisitions.

“I am excited by the opportunities ahead, optimistic about the future, and confident in our ability to deliver excellent service to our customers, careers for our people and returns for our shareholders.”

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