Youngs weathers pandemic storm but tenanted division may be sold

Young's has posted its Preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 29 March 2021 and revealed its in discussions with Savills over putting its tenanted division, Ram Pub Company, up for sale.

Patrick Dardis, Chief Executive, (pictured) stated, 'We confirm that Savills has been appointed and that we are in discussions regarding a possible sale. There can be no certainty, however, that any sale will proceed. We will make further announcements as appropriate.'

Young’s secured additional financing of £88.4m through an equity issue and £20m through a new bank facility. Debt at year-end stood at of £170.1m.

During the period, the group invested £17m to enhance its managed estate, including: upgrades to outdoor trading spaces; adding boutique rooms and transforming bar and restaurant spaces; relaunching the Burger Shack brand and rolling out an additional 10 new Burger Shacks; opening two new pubs: Enderby House in Greenwich and Alban’s Well in St Albans.

Young's revenue came to £90.6m, approximately 30% of the previous year:
> Managed house revenue of £87m, with an adjusted operating loss of £18.6m
> Tenanted division, Ram Pub Company's revenue stood at £3.3m, with an adjusted operating loss of £0.7m

The outdoor trading in the 144 pubs, that were able to open on 12 April, has been encouraging, achieving 85% of normal trade over a 5-week period, and the group has opened all the remaining pubs this week.

Dardis commented, “We were able to navigate our way through the pandemic, despite the last financial year being one of the most challenging in our 189-year history.

'I am extremely proud of the way our teams have reacted to the extraordinary challenges that we have faced. The absolute professionalism of our pub managers and their teams has enhanced our reputation as a highly responsible pub operator and underlined the exceptional quality of the Young's business.

“Despite the many lockdowns and disruption to our business, the financing decisions taken during the summer allowed us to continue to make significant investments in our pubs, with some truly transformational projects. We expect to see excellent growth from that investment this year and beyond.

“We are confident with the steps we have taken to ensure Young’s continues to be in a position of strength and there is potential for a strong recovery this summer. April has started better than planned, with future bookings also looking strong. With this in mind, the board expects the business to get back to pre-covid-19 levels of trade and margins by the end of June, assuming the roadmap, and in particular the 21 June ‘freedom day’, is not compromised.”