Coronavirus Update

Fuller, Smith & Turner - Results for the 52 weeks to 27 March 2021

This content has been sourced from: https://www.investegate.co.uk/fuller-smith---38-tu...

FULLER, SMITH & TURNER P.L.C.

("Fuller's", the "Company", or the "Group")

Financial results for the 52 weeks to 27 March 2021

Financial and Operational Summary

· Resilient performance in an extraordinary year that started and ended with our entire pub estate closed, and with social distancing restrictions for 16 months to date

· Closure of the estate for an average of 71% of the year due to Covid restrictions

· High customer demand while sites were open gives us confidence in our ability to rebound strongly as restrictions are eased

· Business remains firmly underpinned by our predominately freehold estate of iconic, high quality pubs and hotels

· Proactive £52 million equity issue successfully completed in April 2021 to strengthen the Balance Sheet and ensure the Company exits the pandemic in the best possible position

· No full year dividend proposed in light of pandemic impact on trading performance, but intention to return to progressive dividend policy at the appropriate time.

 

FY 2021

FY 2020

 

£m

£m

Revenue and other income

73.4

319.7

Group statutory (loss)/profit before tax

(59.2)

166.2

Adjusted (loss)/profit before tax1

(48.7)

19.4

Net debt excluding lease liabilities2

218.1

178.9

 

All figures above are from continuing operations except for Group statutory (loss)/profit before tax which includes discontinued operations

1  Adjusted (loss)/profit before tax is the (loss)/profit before tax excluding separately disclosed items.

2  Net debt comprises cash and short-term deposits, bank overdraft, bank loans, CCFF, debenture stock and preference shares.

Strategic Update

· Continued investment in our predominately freehold estate during periods of enforced closure to ensure we reopened in excellent condition, including 10 transformational refurbishment schemes and one new opening - The White Horse, Wembley

· Strong performance in our hotels and pubs with rooms, when restrictions permitted, benefiting from a strong boom in staycations

· Completed the integration of Cotswold Inns & Hotels, which has delivered immediate benefits

· Transitional Services Agreement with Asahi successfully completed

· Successful roll out of digital solutions such as Order & Pay and enhanced central booking system, improving the digital customer journey

· Streamlined teams both at house level and in our support centre ready to deliver future growth.

Current Trading and Outlook

· Estate now fully reopened, albeit with restrictions

· Balanced business in terms of operational style, geography and demographics with varying recovery trajectories across the estate

· Current net debt levels below where they were pre-pandemic, helped by strong cash generation since reopening

· Managed like for like sales for 12 weeks to 3 July 2021 at 76% of 2019 levels, reflecting continued impact of social distancing restrictions on trading, particularly in our London pubs

· Over 90 projects planned during the year to further improve our pub gardens and outside spaces

· Transformational refurbishments completed at The Kingswood Arms, Banstead, and in Wendover with the opening of our seventh Bel & The Dragon site

· 100% occupancy in our Tenanted estate, with full commercial rent reintroduced on 26 June 2021

· New central finance system on schedule to go live in the second half of the year

· Looking forward to trading fully with no restrictions from 19 July

· Company in excellent shape to continue to deliver long-term strategy and growth.

Chief Executive Simon Emeny said: "The end of restrictions is now just 11 days away and our pubs and hotels are perfectly placed to benefit from growing consumer confidence and the return of normal life. Pubs are social spaces that thrive on spontaneity - a quick pint, staying for a bit longer to chat to someone at the bar or just walking past a beautiful pub garden and deciding to stop for a bite to eat without pre-booking a table. I know that, across our estate, our teams are excited to see those behaviours return.

"The boom in staycations and desire to get back out with friends has led to strong trading in parts of our estate - particularly Cotswold Inns & Hotels and our rural pubs with rooms - and  there is an incredibly busy season to come with numerous weddings and a high level of advance bookings. With our entire estate open, like for like sales for the 12 weeks to 3 July 2021 are running at 76% of 2019 levels, cash generation is strong and our net debt levels are below where they were pre-pandemic. The importance of our perfectly balanced estate has come in to play with different parts of the business showing different recovery trajectories and we are very comfortable with the company's current position.

"We have a clear set of priorities for the next 12 months. We will continue to deliver our strategic goals, invest in our estate, and implement our new central finance system. Other projects, such as our employer brand and further work around our digital customer journey, will be progressed and we will, as ever, keep a watching brief on appropriate opportunities in the market. In the short term, we will continue to address challenges around recruitment and supply chain, which are having an impact right across the hospitality sector.

"The elements that combine to make Fuller's such an amazing company have been reiterated many times before and are always worth repeating. The foundations are our iconic, predominately freehold, well-invested estate of stunning pubs and hotels, which are geographically southern based and cover city, town, village and rural locations. At our heart are the amazing team members and entrepreneurial Tenants that make up the Fuller's family and we are driven by a clear, consistent, long-term strategy. Combined with our strong Balance Sheet, a cash generative business and the fact that the enduring appeal of the high-quality British pub has never been stronger, we look to the future with confidence."