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Fuller Smith & Turner lifts dividend, unveils new buyback

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Thursday 13 Jun 2024

Fuller Smith & Turner lifts dividend, unveils new buyback

(Sharecast News) - Pub and hotel operator Fuller, Smith & Turner hiked its annual dividend by a fifth and announced a new share buyback after a strong performance in the year to 30 March, in which adjusted profits surged 61%.
The company said it intends to buy up to 2.5m shares, which at Wednesday's closing price of 720p values the repurchase at up to £18m. This will take the total buyback programme since a share placing in 2021 to 6.5m shares.

Fuller's proposed a final dividend of 11.12p, taking its total payout to 17.75p, up from 14.68p previously, after an "excellent year" with strong like-for-like sales and volume growth across all areas.

Group revenues were up 7% at £359.1m, with LFL sales rising 11%, which the company said outperformed the wider hospitality sector by four percentage points.

LFL food sales were 14.5% higher, LFL drink sales rose 9.8% while accommodation LFL sales were up 7.8%.

Fuller's said "effective cost management" helped grow operating margins to 9.6% from 7.4%, with adjusted pre-tax profit surging to £20.5m from £12.7m the year before.

As for the current financial year, LFL sales growth has slowed to just 4.4% in the first 10 weeks of the year.

"Fuller's has delivered excellent results in the last financial year, despite the high inflationary environment. As of today, those inflationary pressures - especially in regard to food and energy - have reduced, which gives us additional confidence in the coming year," said chief executive Simon Emeny.

The stock was flat at 720p by 0840 BST.

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