Fuller, Smith & Turner swings to an H1 loss as COVID-19 shuts pubs and bars

Fuller, Smith & Turner swings to an H1 loss as COVID-19 shuts pubs and bars
Written by:
Wajeeh Khan
November 26, 2020
  • Fuller, Smith & Turner swings to an H1 loss as COVID-19 shuts pubs and bars.
  • The British pub operator slashes its workforce by 20% in the fiscal first half.
  • All 388 of Fuller's pubs & hotels are currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Fuller, Smith & Turner plc (LON: FSTA) said on Thursday that it swung to a loss in the fiscal first half as the Coronavirus pandemic pushed its stores into temporarily shutting down. The COVID-19 crisis has so far infected more than 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and caused over 56 thousand deaths.  

Fuller, Smith & Turner jumped more than 3% on market open on Thursday but lost the entire intraday gain in the next hour. It is now exchanging hands at £7.07 per share versus a much higher £9.60 per share at the start of the year. The stock had tumbled to as low as £5.0 per share in the last week of July.

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Fuller, Smith & Turner slashes its workforce by 20% in H1

The London-based company also said that it slashed its workforce by roughly 20% in the first six months that concluded on 26th September. Peer Mitchells & Butlers also said on Thursday that its annual revenue slid 34% due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Fuller, Smith & Turner reported £22.2 million of loss in H1 on an adjusted basis. In comparison, it had posted £17.9 million of profit in the same period last year. Earlier in November, analysts at Peel Hunt downgraded the British company from “buy” to “add”.

In terms of revenue, the pub operator recorded £45.6 million in the fiscal first half versus the year-ago figure of £167.1 million due to the COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.

CEO Simon Emeny’s comments on Thursday

According to CEO Simon Emeny, 37 of the company’s largest sites in central London reported a 30% decline in levels as compared to last year, as the pandemic restricted people to their homes in October.

Apart from redundancies, Fuller, Smith, & Turner also reassigned close to 300 of its workers in recent months as it offloaded The Stable, its pizza and cider arm. CEO Simon also said:

“It feels like Groundhog Day. At the time of drafting this review of the last six months, all 388 of our pubs and hotels are closed, 98% of our people are on furlough or Flexi-furlough, and we are a week away from hopefully reopening the estate.”

Fuller, Smith & Turner performed slightly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of close to 5%. At the time of writing, the London-headquartered company has a market capitalisation of £227 million.