Young’s reports encouraging interim results & strong Christmas bookings

Young’s has announced its interim results for the 26 weeks ended 26 September 2022.

Highlights include:
• Delivered strong revenue, profit and LFL sales growtho
o Revenue growth of 24.7% to £186.5m (HY 2021: £149.6m), ahead of 2019 levels
o Adj. PBT growth of 14.7% to £25.0m (HY 2021: £21.8m)
o Like-for-like revenue was ahead of same period in 2019 by 6.2%, and up by 20.4% against last year
o Adjusted EBITDA up 5.4% to £45.0m (HY 2021: £42.7m); managed house EBITDA of £55.5m up £3.3 million against last year

• Adjusted operating profit up 7.0% to £29m, delivering a margin of 15.5%, down from last year’s 18.1% which benefited significantly from the reduced 5% VAT rate (£8.2m) and lower utility costs (£1.9m on a like-for-like basis)

• Investment of £28.7m in the period, including four freehold acquisitions and £14.5m invested in our existing estate, with a further two acquisitions since the end of the period

• Healthy cash generation reduced the year-end net debt by £5.7m to £168.1m

• Since the period end, managed house revenue for the last 13 weeks was ahead of last year by 6.6%; on a like-for-like basis up 2% on last year and ahead of 2019 comparatives by 5.5%

CEO Simon Dodd commented, “I am very pleased with the performance of the business and the hard work of our teams in the first half of the year. This has been the first time in three years we have been able to report on a period without any covid related trading restrictions, with the business returning to normality.

“Recent trading has been robust despite all the economic uncertainty, and we continue to see our pubs in Central London and the City bounce back as workers and tourists return, like-for-like sales since the end of the period were up against last year by 22.0% and 11.1% respectively.

“We have continued to reinvest the funds generated by the sale last year of our tenanted estate, with the welcome addition of four fantastic freehold pubs combined with the two recent acquisitions, the Carpenters Arms (Tonbridge) and the Griffin Inn (Fletching), both wonderful freehold pubs with rooms.'

Simon went on, “Bookings are already strong for our first full trading Christmas in three years, which follows closely after the football World Cup.

“Although we are conscious of the current macroeconomic conditions, we have fixed contracts for both drinks and utilities, and, whilst not immune to the external cost pressures across our supply chain, we are taking steps to mitigate as far as possible.

' Our strategy of operating premium, individual and well-invested managed pubs is unchanged, and we are confident that it will continue to deliver superior returns for our shareholders.”