Hike in Energy Costs as Fuller’s Sales Recover from Pandemic

Pub group Fuller Smith & Turner PLC has said it anticipates a significant increase in its gas and electricity bill this year due to the global energy crisis and called on the UK government to provide more details on its proposed support plan for businesses.

In a trading statement, the pubco said despite sales starting to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, surging energy costs are making it difficult to plan ahead.

Earlier this month, the government announced a new six-month scheme that will offer support to businesses at a similar level to that offered to consumers but has so far failed to release details.

Excluding any government support, Fuller Smith & Turner expects total energy costs of £18million in the current year, a £10million increase up from £ the year before.

“While sales continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we are conscious that consumers face increasingly challenging times ahead,” commented company chief executive Simon Emeny.

“Businesses across the hospitality sector are experiencing unsustainable increases in energy costs. Despite having proactively purchased forward contracts to limit the impact on Fuller’s, we will see significant increases this year and do urge the government to provide much needed clarity on its proposed support package so that we can plan accordingly.”

He said the company has forward purchase contracts to cover its anticipated annual energy requirement, “providing surety for the months ahead”.

The group said total sales in the first 25 weeks of the current financial year were up 3% against pre-pandemic levels and 50% higher than the same period last year.

On a like-for-like basis, sales for the 25 weeks to 17 September 2022 grew 21% on last year.

“We are looking forward to the forthcoming World Cup and our first restriction-free Christmas for three years,” Emeny said.

“The future may present more obstacles to navigate, but Fuller’s is a long-term company with a clear vision and the people, properties, and financial fire power to deliver consistent returns in the long term.”