Pub chain Young’s announced it would restart its dividend this morning after a healthy set of half-year results suggested the historic operator’s recovery is well on the way.
Adjusted operating profit hit a healthy £27.1m in the six months to the end of September despite ‘lockdown’ and later restrictions on numbers still being in place.
Revenues across the whole group were down only 1 per cent on the same period of 2019.
Whilst West End and the City pubs were down some 40 per cent in April on previous, non-pandemic years, that figure has crept up to just a 12 per cent decline and chief executive Patrick Dardis told City A.M. this morning that the gap was “closing all the time.”
Pubs outside of zone 1 in places like Wimbledon and Balham were thriving, he said.
Chief Executive Patrick Dardis told City A.M. this morning that “after so many months of the pandemic, it’s great to look forward rather than backward.”
“We always said once the glass was half-full we’d be looking to bring the dividend back and no doubt our shareholders will be celebrating too,” he said.
Shares were up just shy of 3 per cent in mid-morning trading.
The firm’s balance sheet was boosted b the £53m off-load of 56 tenanted pubs – the Ram Pub Company – to Punch Taverns. Dardis said the sale had helped them double-down on investment in their existing estate and that the new year would see another round of capital expenditure, including refurbishing pubs and adding more hotel rooms to existing properties.
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