Pub chain Fuller’s brought its sales back above pre-pandemic levels but has warned the energy crisis could give it bills of £18m.
The company announced its sales in the first half of the financial year were three per cent up on the pandemic, and 50 per cent up on the same period last year.
However, with the energy price crisis looming over the winter, it has been purchasing contracts in advance to cover half of its annual gas and alacrity needs.
It said with “growing uncertainty and the risk of even higher market costs for energy” over the winter, it has purchased “additional” forward contracts.
Fuller’s, Smith & Turner also said regarding the government’s new six-month scheme offering support to businesses, “as the details are yet to be published, we do not know, and are unable to quantify, the extent to which the scheme will mitigate increased costs.”
The firm however predicted that ahead of any benefits it may gain from this scheme, especially with the World Cup and a pandemic restrictions-free Christmas bringing more punter sin; it expects the gas and electricity costs this year to but more than £18m, well up on the predicted £18m.
In a bid to recoup some of the expected losses from the energy crisis, Fuller’s announced it has opened The Queen’s Arms at Heathrow Terminal two, and is near completion on two other sites.
It also sold four unlicensed premises generation almost £7m.
“While sales continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we are conscious that consumers face increasingly challenging times ahead”, chief executive Simon Emeny said.
“Businesses across the hospitality sector are experiencing unsustainable increases in energy costs. Despite having proactively purchased forward contracts to limit the impact on Fuller’s, we will see significant increases this year and do urge the Government to provide much needed clarity on its proposed support package so that we can plan accordingly.”
“We are looking forward to the forthcoming World Cup and our first restriction-free Christmas for three years. The future may present more obstacles to navigate, but Fuller’s is a long-term company with a clear vision and the people, properties, and financial fire power to deliver consistent returns in the long term.”