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Fuller,Smith&Turner Plc - Final Results



Financial results for the 52 weeks ended 30 March 2019

A business positioned for long-term success


Financial Highlights*


·    Revenue up 7% to £431.1 million (2018: £403.6 million)

·    EBITDA1 up 3% to £73.2 million (2018: £70.9 million)

·    Adjusted profit2 level at £43.2 million (2018: £43.2 million)

·    Adjusted earnings per share3 level at 62.78p (2018: 62.90p)

·    Total annual dividend up 3% per 'A' and 'C' 40p ordinary share to 20.15p
(2018: 19.55p)

·    Statutory profit before tax of £26.1 million (2018: £43.6 million), after separately disclosed items of £17.1 million

·    Basic earnings per share of 35.12p (2018: 64.89p)

*Figures are for total Group (continuing and discontinued operations)


Operational Indicators


·    Strong performance from Managed Pubs and Hotels with like for like sales4 growth of 4.9% (2018: +2.9%)

·    Good performance from Tenanted Inns - like for like profits5 rose 1% (2018: +3%)

·    Total beer and cider volumes remained level (2018: -1%)


Strategy Update


·    Sale of the Fuller's Beer Business to Asahi Europe Ltd agreed during the financial year for £250 million, with completion post year end.

·    Acquired 11 new sites including six Bel & The Dragon country inns across the Home Counties and a package of four bars in the City

·    The Signal Box opened at Euston Station adding to our growing portfolio of pubs in transport hubs

·    Added a further 93 bedrooms to our estate including 15 at The Counting House on Cornhill

·    Significant period of investment with 94 closure weeks (2018: 59)

·    Further progress with our Tenanted Inns turnover agreement - 30 pubs operating under this model at the year end

·    Completed the roll out of the new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system across the business


Earnings before separately disclosed items, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for total Group operations

2 Adjusted profit is the profit before tax excluding separately disclosed items for total Group operations

3 Calculated on total Group operations, using adjusted profit after tax and the same weighted average number of shares as for the basic earnings per share (EPS) and using a 40p ordinary share.

Managed Pubs and Hotels like for like sales excludes The Stable

Operating profit before separately disclosed items and head office costs


Current Trading and Outlook


·    Managed Pubs and Hotels like for like sales rose 1.2% and total sales increased 2.3% in the first 16 weeks

·    Tenanted Inns like for like profits down -3% for first 16 weeks

·    Sale of the Fuller's Beer Business completed on 27 April 2019 for £250 million

·    Business in a strong financial position to overcome external economic pressures and ready to capitalise on attractive and profitable growth opportunities.


Commenting on the results, 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 - 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.


"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.


"Underpinning this position is a premium pubs and hotels business in robust health. We have had another year of like for like growth that has outperformed the industry, while our successful Tenanted business has continued to build on the new turnover agreement that creates genuine, sustainable partnerships between our Tenants and ourselves.


"Against some incredibly tough comparatives from the hot weather and football fervour of summer 2018, I am pleased to report steady trading for the first 16 weeks of the new financial year with like for like sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels rising by 1.2% and total revenue rising by 2.3%. Like for like profits in our Tenanted Inns were down -3% against very tough comparatives.


"This is a transformational period for Fuller, Smith & Turner, which coincides with a great deal of political and economic uncertainty. However, we can see a clear way ahead for the Company. 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."


Pursuant to Listing Rule 9.6.11, as indicated at last year's Annual General Meeting, John Dunsmore had agreed to stay on for an additional year beyond his nine-year term to provide continuity and stability as new Board Members settled into their roles.  Following the approval of the Annual Reports and Accounts for the financial period ended 30 March 2019, John Dunsmore resigned as a Director with effect from 25 July 2019.  The Board thank John Dunsmore for his enormous contribution to the business over these 10 years.