Pub group Fuller's cheers return of workers, tourists as year starts well

·1-min read
Dried out plants are seen in a window box outside the Butchers Hook & Cleaver pub in London

(Reuters) -Fuller, Smith & Turner said on Thursday its current financial year 2023 had started well, as the pub operator saw steady growth in weekly sales with the gradual return of workers to the City of London and tourists to central London.

The company's positive update was in contrast to peers Mitchells & Butlers and Marston's, which issued profit warnings last month, hit by rising expenses stemming from the Russia-Ukraine and inflationary pressures.

Fuller's, however, said it was also seeing a rapid rise in food and utility costs but it was actively managing and working with its supplier to mitigate the impacts.

The largely family-owned business has had to cut jobs, sell some businesses, raise funds and seek loan waivers during the pandemic, as social distancing measures and curfews shutdown its operations and hammered the hospitality sector.

The group, whose pubs are located across London, said total sales were up 4% on pre-pandemic levels in the first 10 weeks of the new financial year.

The company returned to a profit last financial year, reporting an adjusted profit before tax of 7.2 million pounds ($9.01 million) for the year ended March, compared with a loss of 48.7 million pounds a year ago.

($1 = 0.7991 pounds)

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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