Fullers posts 6% revenue rise

Fuller's has released financial results for the 26 weeks ended 28 September 2019, which shows revenue rose by 6% to £174.8, (H1 2019: £165m).

Adjusted profit was level at £17.9m (H1 2019: £17.9m), and EBITDA was £30.2m (H1 2019: £30.6m)

Statutory profit before tax came to £176.2m (H1 2019: £20.8m), after separately disclosed items of £158.2m.

The group saw a good performance from Managed Pubs and Hotels with like-for-like sales growth of 2.7% (H1 2019: +4.1%), and Tenanted revenue increased 3%, with like-for-like profits reduced by 3% (H1 2019: +4%)

During the period, the group saw £164.5m profit from the sale of the Fuller’s Beer Business to Asahi Europe Ltd for £250m.

For current trading and outlook, Managed Pubs and Hotels like-for-like sales are up 2.1%, with total revenue up 5.1% for the first 36 weeks. Tenanted Inns like-for-like profits are down 2% for the first 36 weeks.

Fuller's completed the acquisition of Cotswold Inns & Hotels, including seven stunning
freehold country inns and hotels in the Cotswolds for £40m.

Chief Executive Simon Emeny said, “The first half of this year has seen the biggest transformation in Fuller’s history. It has been a time of unprecedented change – and not without its challenges – but we have made good progress and we have a clear view and plan for the next steps in our journey from vertically integrated brewer and retailer to focused premium pubs and hotels business.

“Since completing the sale of the Beer Business at the end of April, we have put a new Executive Team in place – designed for the business as it is today. We have signed a Long-Term Supply Agreement with Asahi to protect the status of Fuller’s beers on our bars, while also forging new and exciting relationships with other interesting suppliers.

'Post period end, we have also completed the return of capital to our shareholders and made a voluntary contribution to our defined benefit pension scheme to the tune of £69 million and £24 million respectively.

“Finally, we have secured new offices, in our Chiswick heartland, which we will move to in the spring. And to cap off the first stage in our modern history we have, post the period end, completed the excellent acquisition of Cotswold Inns & Hotels – seven iconic and beautiful freehold sites in the Cotswolds and two vibrant bars in Birmingham’s city centre.'

Emeny continued, “For the 36 weeks to 7 December 2019, like-for-like sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels have risen 2.1% and total sales have increased 5.1%. In our Tenanted Inns, like for like profits are down 2%. These are solid results in the context of consumer unease reflecting the ongoing political and Brexit uncertainty.

“We hope that the incoming Government helps us to continue to grow our business by overhauling the business rates system, ensuring a manageable level of wage inflation and creating an immigration system that allows us to recruit and invest in excellent team members from both home and abroad.

“There are a number of exciting new sites in the pipeline including The White Horse at Wembley, The Windjammer at Royal Dock and The Parcel Office at Liverpool Street Station as well as our first addition to Bel & The Dragon, which will be in an existing Tenanted site in Westerham, Kent. Major schemes will also be undertaken at The Mayfly in Stockbridge and The Bear at Burton near Christchurch, where we will be adding a further 10 bedrooms, taking our total to 1,038.'

Emeny concluded, “Fuller’s is well funded, has a clear vision, a distinctive strategy, a portfolio of extremely high quality assets and an excellent culture – which stands us in good stead to navigate further political and economic turbulence. Against this backdrop, and with an excellent and engaged team of people, we are poised to deliver further growth for our shareholders and our team members, and to ensure even more customers can enjoy all that Fuller’s has to offer.”