Brewery and pub chain Fuller’s made a £22m loss before tax in the six months to 26 September, following coronavirus restrictions that meant the business lost 66% of trading weeks.
The business made £45.6m in revenue in the six months, down from £167.1m during the same period last year.
From the end of July to the end of September, Fullers made £2m despite ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
Despite a difficult six months, chief executive Simon Emeny is optimistic for the year ahead, citing the roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK as “excellent news for the future”.
“When the current lockdown was announced, we acted swiftly to implement the lessons learned last time round and this latest closure has been made with minimal stock losses. We also immediately placed 98% of our team members – across our pubs, hotels and in our support functions – on furlough or flexi-furlough, thereby minimising our cash burn.
“The extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2021 provides a degree of breathing space and will allow us to apply a sensible and measured approach to costs as we reopen our estate, particularly at the most affected sites in our city centres,” he added.
“We are optimistic about the future in the medium term and beyond, but there is no doubt that this will be a tough winter and a very different looking Christmas.”