Fuller’s achieved a 7% uplift in revenue, to £43.1m for the full year to 30 March 2019, boosted by a strong performance within its Managed Pubs and Hotels arm.

The division saw like-for-like (lfl) sales growth of 4.9%, compared to +2.9% seen the previous year, with its Tenanted Inns business reporting a lfl rise of 1% – down from +3% in 2018, which the business put down to high levels of investment during the year. Total beer and cider volumes remained level.

This has been followed by a lfl rise of 1.2% for Managed Pubs and Hotels in the first 16 weeks of the current financial year, with total sales up 2.3%, however Tenanted Inns have seen lfl profits down 3% over the period on the back of tough comparables.

EBIDTA for the group increased by 3% to £73.2m for the full year, with adjusted profit level at £43.2m, however statutory profit before tax fell to £26.1m, from £43.6m last year, due to separately disclosed items of £17.1 million, including £7m related to the disposal of the Beer Business.

The sale of Fuller’s Beer Business to Asahi, for £250m, was agreed during the period and completed post year end on 27 April.

Among the other operational highlights for the full year, Fuller’s noted the acquisition of 11 new sites, including six Bel & The Dragon country inns, located in the Home Counties, and a package of four bars in the City.

It also added a further 93 bedrooms to its estate, including 15 at The Counting Inn on Cornhill.

Fuller’s said it had made further progress with its Tenanted Inns turnover agreement, with 30 pubs under the model at year end (+17 on last year), and five added since.

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, which he described as “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.

“It gives us an even clearer focus on sustainable growth from the higher margin part of our business and has the added advantage of putting us in a strong position to deal with potentially turbulent times ahead as the UK navigates the implications of exiting the European Union.”

He said that while this transformational period coincided with a lot of political and economic uncertainty, the business can see a clear way ahead.

“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,” he added.