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Fri 20th Nov 2015 - Fuller’s reports like-for-likes up 5.6% in first half
Fuller’s reports like-for-likes up 5.6% in first half: Brewer and retailer Fuller’s has reported like-for-like sales up 5.6% in its managed division for the 26 weeks ended 26 September. Adjusted profit before tax was up 10% to £21.6 million (2014/15: £19.6 million) and sales rose 10% to £177.7 million (2014/15: £161.6 million) whilst Ebitda was up 8% to £33.3 million (2014/15: £30.7 million). There was a ‘good performance’ from Tenanted Inns, with like-for-like profits increasing by 3% and a solid start for Fuller’s Beer Company with total beer and cider volumes up by 1%. The company has acquired two new freehold pubs, plus the freeholds of three existing sites including The Barrowboy & Banker on London Bridge. It continued to invest in its people – with over 1,000 training days per month and a rise in the hourly rate of all team members on a development programme. It opened The Stable in Plymouth and Winchester and relocated The Stable in Bath to a premium location. Fuller’s reported a strong performance from new beer brands – Oliver’s Island is now our second best-selling cask ale in the UK and Frontier sales have doubled year on year. Continued focus on investing in our premium pub estate and brand portfolio to maintain clear differentiation over the competition. Chief executive Simon Emeny said: “We have had a strong first half with all areas of the business in growth, demonstrating the clear trading momentum underway in the business. It is particularly rewarding, coming on the back of a good prior year. During the last six months, our Managed Pubs and Hotels have had excellent growth, the Tenanted Division has put in another good performance and the Beer Company has also made progress. Our commitment to providing the best drinks range, the most delicious, freshly-cooked food, fantastic surroundings and service that is second to none continues to deliver good experiences for our customers and good returns for our shareholders.The second half of the year has started well, with a number of our pubs – particularly in West London – benefitting from a boost during the Rugby World Cup. For the first 33 weeks, our like for like sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels have risen by 5.8% and like for like profits in our Tenanted Inns have risen by 4%. Beer and cider volumes have increased by 1% for the first 33 weeks. We have purchased two new sites since the period end. The Great Northern Railway Tavern is in the North London suburb of Hornsey, an area where we are currently under represented. The other is The Sutton Arms, in the City, close to Farringdon Station. In addition, we opened The Stable in Southampton, in the cultural quarter of this university city. We have an exciting pipeline of acquisitions and will be opening The Sail Loft on Greenwich Reach in January. In short, having completed the first half of this financial year, I look forward to the rest of the year with optimism. We have the best team in the industry and iconic pubs, combined with the financial firepower and business acumen to stay ahead of the competition. Fuller’s is a company with clear values, a consistent and well communicated strategy and I know that we will continue to deliver great beer and cider, delicious food and outstanding service to our customers, great careers for our people and solid returns for our shareholders.”

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