Fuller’s revenue rose 7% to £431.1m in the year to March 30, the company has reported, with adjusted profit at £43.2m.
The highlight of the year, clearly, was the sale of the brewing business to Asahi for £250m, but the completion of this deal went through after the end of the financial year.
There was a strong performance from managed pubs and hotels, with like-for-like sales up 4.9%, while like-for-like profit at tenanted inns was up 1%. Total beer and cider volumes remained level.
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.
‘A premium pubs and hotels business in robust health’
“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.”
He added: “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.”