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Fuller’s Returns to “Profitable Growth”

Fuller’s has said that it returned to profitable growth in the 52 weeks to 26 March 2022, and that its current trading year has “started well”.

For the year to 26 March 2022, the pub group reported adjusted profit before tax returning to growth at £7.2m against a loss of £48.7m the prior financial year, when the business reported revenues of £73.2m.

Chief executive Simon Emeny said that in the first 10 weeks of the new financial year, total sales were up 4% on pre pandemic levels and up 130% on the same period last year. On a like-for-like basis, excluding closed periods, sales in the first 10 weeks of the year were up 21.4% on last year.

He said: “Market conditions remain challenging with fragile consumer confidence and well-documented high inflationary pressures. Our premium offering provides some protection from inflation, however we are certainly not immune from its effects. In common with our peers, we have seen significant increases in food and utility costs and are proactively working with our suppliers, and actively managing our offering, to mitigate the effects of inflation without impairing the customer experience.

“We remain confident that, despite the current market challenges, we will maintain our growth trajectory for revenues and profits and as such we are pleased to announce a final dividend of 7.41p, which means a total dividend to shareholders of £7m for the year.”

Emeny added: “In conclusion, we are looking back on a volatile year of highs and lows with many moving parts – but we are starting the new financial year on a high. We may be facing some bracing headwinds, especially around energy and inflation, but we are well placed to tackle the issues with clear measures and solutions in place.”

“The new strategic framework, driven by our purpose to create experiences that nourish the soul, and the pillars that underpin it, will give everyone in the company clear direction and ensure we work as a team, from our kitchens to our boardroom, to deliver excellent results for all our stakeholders. In addition, we have worked hard to strengthen our balance sheet and highlight how we will continue to deliver long-term value through the application of our capital allocation framework. The completion of the bank refinancing provides us with the headroom to grow and the directors’ valuation of the estate demonstrates that the implicit net asset value per share of our business is £13.80.”