The pubco that runs 183 managed pubs, with 1,015 boutique bedrooms, and 193 Tenanted Inns also reported revenue is up 12% to £188.8m (H1 2023: £168.9m), driven by strong performances across the estate while the lfl sales boost is “substantially ahead of the industry’s Coffer CGA Business Tracker”, in the 26 weeks to 30 September 2023.
Other highlights included adjusted profit before tax increased by 48% to £14.5m (H1 2023: £9.8m) and net debt is at £129.4m (H1 2023: £129.2m) with cash being used to enhance the Fuller’s estate and finance shareholder returns.
On current trade, lfl sales for the 32 weeks to 11 November 2023 are up 11.7% while bookings for Christmas are 11% ahead of last year and it invested £7.4m across 80 of its managed pubs and hotels.
Transfers to tenanted division
Food lfl sales have risen by 15.5% and drink by 10.9%. Accommodation lfl revenue is up 13.4%, while RevPAR (revenue per available room) has risen by 15% and average room rate has increased to £129 (H1 2023: £117).
Fuller’s Tenanted Inns division has delivered revenues of £16.3m and profits of £6.9m. It has completed the transfer of 21 of the 23 sites earmarked to move from managed to tenanted with the last two transfers imminent. Moving these 23 sites to the tenanted model is expected to add £1m of incremental profit contribution.
Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “We have had a strong start to the year – delivering excellent financial results and building a superb platform for future growth.”
Factors moving in favour
Emeny continued: “While there are still a number of macro-economic elements to navigate, certain external factors are moving in our favour with office workers continuing to return to their desks and the City becoming a seven-day operation with increased leisure spend at the weekend.
“There has been a welcome return of major events. Customers are increasingly seeking premium experiences when they are spending their money, and we have the benefit of the lucrative international tourist trade to come with inbound tourism still below pre-covid levels.”
He also stated the company’s capital investment programme will see it undertake a number of large projects across the estate during the remainder of this financial year and will roll out a new online training platform.
“Fuller’s has a long-term vision, strong values and a clear strategy – all underpinned by our predominately freehold estate of iconic pubs in fantastic locations,” he added. “While there is still a challenging economic environment to navigate, we have had a strong first half and with exciting plans in the pipeline, we are looking forward to the second half of the year with confidence.”