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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Simon Hunt

Fuller’s hails return of the commuter as London sales recover

The Churchill Arms

(Picture: Press handout)

Tourists and commuters flocking back to the capital have provided a much-needed sales boost at pub chain Fuller’s, the firm said today.

The Chiswick-based business, which runs The Banker in Cannon Street and The Churchill Arms in Notting Hill (above in its Christmas finery), said central London and City sites have seen revenues rise by 20% over the past seven weeks against the prior year, despite the impact of Tube and train strikes. Group sales grew 13% overall.

Fuller’s reported turnover of £169 million in the six months to September, up 45% on 2021, while pre-tax profits grew 36% to £9.8 million. Turnover across the firm’s hotels also made a strong recovery with revenue per available room increasing by 17% to £94.6.

Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “We’re very optimistic about London reaching a full recovery.

“Christmas bookings are on a par with 2021 and we’re seeing a lot of demand for big group bookings.”

Trading at Fuller’s City venues on Fridays has significantly lagged behind Thursdays since the start of the pandemic as a result of working from home patterns, but there were signs Fridays were starting to make a comeback, Emeny said.

“People are coming back to offices and Fridays are actually an encouraging period, probably the last piece to get back to normality,” he said.

Fuller’s announced an interim dividend of 4.68p per share. The stock fell 0.2% to 491p.

The pub chain, which was founded in 1845, has a freehold estate of pubs which was valued at just shy of £1 billion in March 2022.

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