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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Daniel O'Boyle

City pubs becoming a 'seven-day operation' thanks to weekend tourist boost, Fuller's boss says

The boss of Fuller’s, Smith and Turner said the City is becoming a “seven-day operation”, as a boom in London tourism keeps bankers’ favourite pubs busy even on the weekend.

First-half profits at the chain, which owns more than 380 pubs and hotels across the south of England, rose by 40% to £14.7 million as sales grew to £188.8 million.

Boss Simon Emeny told the Standard that the Square Mile helped drive the company’s post-pandemic rebound.

He said: “People are coming back to offices much more than last year, so that’s driven growth over the five days. But with tourism booming both domestically and internationally, it’s a seven-day operation in the City now.”

Pubs and the wider hospitality sector have struggled with sky-high inflation for most of the last two years, but there are signs that this is passing now. Today, official figures revealed the headline inflation rate fell to just 4.6% in October.

Emeny said: “If you go back to the start of 2022 inflation has been an unprecedented challenge. Those concerns are dissipating now.”

But given the difficulties the sector has faced, Emeny said it was important that businesses continue to see support from the Government. Ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement, he called on Jeremy Hunt to keep business rates multipliers frozen.

“For the sector as a whole, we need the government to continue the successful policies they have on business rates,” he said.

Shares jumped by 8.4% to 622.4p. That brings them to their highest level since August 2022, though that is still well below pre-pandemic levels.

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