January 28, 2011
Interim Management Statement
Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C. (‘Fuller’s’ or ‘the Company’) today releases the following Interim Management Statement for the 43 week trading period to 22 January 2011.
The Company has traded well since we last reported. In the 10 weeks to 22 January 2011, like for like sales in Managed Pubs and Hotels grew by 3.7%, bringing the like for like sales growth for the 43 weeks to 3.5%. Like for like profits in the Tenanted Inns division were level for the 43 weeks to 22 January 2011. Own Beer volumes for the Fuller’s Beer Company for the 17 weeks to 22 January 2011 grew 1%, with a 1% decrease for the 43 weeks.
The Company’s balance sheet and cash generation remain strong. Since the half year we have disposed of four pubs which no longer matched our criteria. These were the Fur & Feathers in Herriard, the White Bear in Hounslow, the Waggon & Horses in Brentford and the Jackdaw & Rook in Balham. There are now 360 pubs within the estate. At the end of the third quarter on 25 December 2010, net debt was £90.5m, down from £93.6m at the half year.
As previously announced, on 18 January 2011, Lynn Fordham, Chief Executive Officer of SVG Capital, was appointed to the Fuller’s Board as a Non Executive Director. Lynn will join both the Remuneration and Audit committees in addition to her seat on the Board.
January has started with the VAT increase and further tax rises, including the damaging duty escalator, and Government spending cuts are set to follow. Despite this we are confident that we will meet our expectations for the full financial year. Looking further ahead to 2011/12, cost inflation is becoming an issue and we are concerned that in these uncertain times our customers may have less discretionary spend. However, our excellent beers and high quality, well-invested pubs in the South of England leave us well placed to meet these challenges.
The Company will next report on 10 June 2011 when it releases its preliminary results for the 53 weeks to 2 April 2011.