Tuesday 17 September 2019

Fuller’s investment eats into profit

Pre-tax profit at the pubs group fell 12% to £20.8m in the first half despite rising sales

Fuller’s has posted rising sales for the first half, but profits took a knock after the pubs group counted the cost of an investment plan (Tim Ireland/PA)
Fuller’s has posted rising sales for the first half, but profits took a knock after the pubs group counted the cost of an investment plan (Tim Ireland/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Fuller, Smith & Turner has posted rising sales for the first half, but profits took a knock after the pubs group counted the cost of an investment plan.

Revenue was up 6% to £222.1 million in the six months to September 29 at the London Pride brewer, while like-for-like sales grew 4.4% at its managed pubs.

However, pre-tax profit fell 12% to £20.8 million due to an investment in its estate.

We believe this is the right decision and ensures our estate is in the best possible position to benefit from the busy Christmas period and beyond Simon Emeny, Fuller's CEO

Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “While our revenues have continued to grow, we experienced a small drop in group profits; however, this should be taken in context.

“We made a conscious decision to front-load our investment programme – impacting our profitability by £0.9 million.

“Although we would have seen profit increase had we not taken this action, we believe this is the right decision and ensures our estate is in the best possible position to benefit from the busy Christmas period and beyond.”

Like-for-like profit at its tenanted inns rose 2% and total beer and cider volumes increased 0.5%.

Facing uncertainty is never easy, but Fuller’s is an exceptionally well-established operation Simon Emeny, Fuller's CEO

The sector has been working to offset rising costs on the back of Brexit-fuelled inflation.

But while price increases have cooled, companies are still grappling with lower consumer confidence, with households more cautious about splashing out.

On Brexit, Mr Emeny said: “It would be impossible to look forward to the second half of the year without reference to Brexit, which is due to happen on the penultimate day of our financial year.

“Facing uncertainty is never easy, but Fuller’s is an exceptionally well-established operation and benefits from a balanced business model which is designed to be flexible enough to adapt to changing trends and markets, yet resilient enough to weather any storm.”

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