Fuller’s to tap investors for £53m to shore finances after lockdown hit

Fullers’ Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden
Fullers’ Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden (PA Wire)
9:08am, Wed 31 Mar 2021
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Pub group Fuller’s is to raise around £53 million through new shares to shore up its finances after sales were hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The London-based pub owner said revenues across its managed pubs and hotels for the year to date are set to have fallen by around 80% against the same period last year.

It told investors on Wednesday morning that it will place 6.45 million new shares at a price of 830p each as part of the raise.

The placing came as the company revealed that it has burned through between £4 million and £5 million each month of enforced closures.

Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny (Fuller's/PA)

However, it will reopen its first sites from April 12 as the Government gave the go-ahead for outdoor hospitality to welcome customers again in England.

Fuller’s said it will reopen 82 of its group-managed pub and hotels from April 12, with around 70% of its tenanted sites opening from this date.

The company said it is well paced to “reopen strongly” as trading restrictions are eased and expects to benefit from “significant pent-up customer demand”.

Consumer confidence returned quickly when lockdown measures were first eased in the summer, while staycation trading at its hotels and pubs with rooms were also “particularly strong”.

The group said it plans to use funds raised from investors to “take full advantage of the reopening of the UK economy and enable the company to explore growth opportunities”.

Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, said: “It was clear the demand for our premium pubs and hotels was as strong as ever when we were allowed to trade last year, which gives us confidence for the weeks and months ahead.

“Over half of the UK adult population has now had its first vaccine and we have a great team of people in place who are match fit and ready to welcome our customers back into our wonderful pubs and hotels.

“The additional financial flexibility we are seeking to put in place will enable us to further capitalise on the opportunities open to us as we execute our recovery plan and regain growth momentum.”

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