Fullers boost dividend payouts after pubs record strong food and drink sales

Pubs giant Fullers has hiked its shareholder dividend by nearly 21 percent after its annual pre-tax profits rocketed 39.8 percent to £14.4million.

Fullers said that for the 52 weeks to the end of March, its revenues rose from £336.6million to £359.1million thanks to a double digit increase in its like-for-like food sales, a 9.8 percent in drinks sales and a 7.8 percent lift in takings at its hotels.

As a result, it hiked its dividend from 14.7p to 17.8p per share, a payout worth £10.4million to investors.

Chief executive Simon Emeny said that Fullers had a strong year and that momentum has continued into its new financial year, with first quarter sales up 4.4 percent. He said Fullers’ confidence for the year ahead has been bolstered by inflationary pressures, specifically food and energy, falling away.

He added: “With the solid financial foundation of a strong balance sheet and a first-class, predominately freehold estate of iconic pubs and hotels, combined with a team that has the ability and capacity to drive the business forward, we are confident and excited by the opportunities the future will bring.”

Fullers has 179 managed pubs and 190 tenanted inns, predominantly in the south and middle of England.

Begbies Traynor partner Julie Palmer said that despite its good performance so far, investors will be hoping that the weather picks up and England’s football team performs well at the European championships this summer.

“Fullers will be hoping for warm summer evenings, beautiful hot weekends and a stellar performance from England at the Euros,” she said. “If it can get all three of those things this summer, it will have every reason to be cheerful, especially given the prospect of extended licences if the Three Lions do particularly well.”


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