Fuller's_The Elephant Inn 3

Fuller’s has reported “a year of excellent progress” in the year ended 30 March 2024, with revenue up 7% to £359.1m.

Like-for-like (lfl) sales were up 11%, while adjusted profit before tax increased 61% to £20.5m.

The 369-strong pub operator further reported volume growth across all areas of the business, with food lfl sales up 14.5%, drink lfls up 9.8%, and accommodation by 7.8%.

The year also saw continued proactive management of the estate to enhance shareholder value, with the transfer of 23 pubs from Managed to Tenanted, generating an incremental £1m profit in a full year.

Fuller’s agreed on the sale of 37 non-core pubs to Admiral Taverns for £18.3m, at a £1.6m premium to the gross asset value of £16.7m. The business also agreed on the terms of the sale of The Mad Hatter in SE1, which will realise £20m of value due in July 2024.

It invested £27.2m in its existing estate of properties, with operating cash flow also used to finance shareholder returns in the form of dividends and share buybacks. 3 million ‘A’ shares have been bought back since September 2022, with a further 1 million in progress since March 2024.

Fuller’s also announced its intention to buy up to a further 2.5 million ‘A’ shares.

More recently, lfl sales for the 10 weeks to 8 June 2024 were up 4.4%.

Fuller’s has completed or is on-site at seven investment schemes since the start of the new financial year and is in “a great position for future growth.”

Chief executive Simon Emeny commented: “It has been a strong year for Fuller’s and I am pleased and proud of the progress we have made. All parts of the Company have performed well – with like for like sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels increasing by 11%, Tenanted Inns operating profit rising 4% and adjusted profit before tax rising 61% to £20.5m.

“Fuller’s has delivered these excellent results in the last financial year, despite the high inflationary environment. As of today, those inflationary pressures – especially in regard to food and energy – have reduced, which gives us additional confidence in the coming year.

“We have continued to build on this strong momentum with like for like sales in the first 10 weeks of the year rising by 4.4%. We have commenced a wide-ranging investment programme, with seven schemes already on site or completed since the start of the new financial year. Complementing this investment in our properties is continued investment in our people. We will be rolling out our leadership development programme to our support centre managers and Head Chefs and continuing to provide development opportunities to team members at all levels across the business.

“As a Company, we are primed for further success and growth. We will continue with our share buyback programme, and we will benefit from the sale of The Mad Hatter in July 2024 for a total consideration of £20 million, and £18.3 million from the sale of 37 non-core pubs to Admiral Taverns.

“With the solid financial foundation of a strong Balance Sheet and a first-class, predominately freehold estate of iconic pubs and hotels, combined with a team that has the ability and capacity to drive the business forward, we are confident and excited by the opportunities the future will bring.”