Thursday 25 July 2019 10:37 am

Fuller's toasts revenue growth despite beer business sale

London pub chain Fuller’s has reported strong revenue growth in its first full-year results following the sale of its beer business to Asahi earlier this year. 

The figures 

Revenue was up seven per cent to £431.1m from £403.6m in 2018, the company said in it’s full year results to 30 March. 

Adjusted profit was flat at £43.2m however, pre-tax profits plunged 40 per cent to £29.1m after the pub company was hit with £17m in one-off costs. 

Ebitda increased three per cent to £73.2m and earnings per share were 62.78p down from 68.9p. 

Like-for-like sales growth at Fuller’s managed pubs and hotels was 4.9 per cent, up from 2.9 per cent in 2018. 

Gin sales were up 37 per cent on a like for like basis and now represent 39 per cent of all spirit sales in Fuller’s pubs. 

There has also been an uplift in non-alcoholic drinks sales and vegan and vegetarian meal options as customers seek a healthier lifestyle, the pub chain said.  

Fuller’s said the first 16 weeks of the new financial year have seen steady trading with total revenue rising by 2.3 per cent. 

Why it’s interesting

The company sold its beer business, including its flagship London Pride ale, to Asahi Europe during the financial year for £250m.

Fuller’s also acquired 11 new sites, including four bars in the City and six Bel & The Dragon country inns across the home counties during the year. 

The pub chain also developed its transport hub presence by opening The Signal Box at Euston Station and added 93 bedrooms to its hotel business including 15 at The Counting House on Cornhill. 

What Fuller’s said

Chief executive Simon Emeny said: “It would be impossible to review the last financial year without mentioning the sale, post year end, of the Fuller’s Beer Business – a transformational move that has changed the face of our Company. 

“Fuller’s has always taken decisions for the very long term and this sale was no exception.”

He added: “This is a transformational period for Fuller, Smith & Turner, which coincides with a great deal of political and economic uncertainty.

“However, we can see a clear way ahead for the Company. With an exceptionally strong balance sheet, a predominantly freehold estate and a proven long-term business model, there will be undoubted opportunities and we are perfectly poised to leverage those over time as we embark on the next phase in our history.”