Young’s shares soar as investors toast the return of ‘normal trading’ and the pub group bolsters its bottom line
- Young’s saw its profits and sales increase in the six months ended September 26
- Boss says Christmas cafe bookings are looking good right now
Pub group Young’s posted sales and earnings growth for the six months ended Sept. 26, compared to weaker trading last year.
The group saw its turnover rise 24.7 per cent over the period to £186.5 million, while adjusted operating profit rose 7 per cent to £29 million. Adjusted profit before tax was 14.7 percent higher at £25 million.
Young’s share price performed strongly today, rising 4.18 percent or 43.44p to 1,081.44p this afternoon, after falling nearly a quarter over the past year.
On the rise: Young’s has revealed that both sales and profits grew in the six months ended Sept. 26
Adjusted underlying earnings rose 5.4 per cent to £45m, while basic earnings per share rose 81.8 per cent to 32.66p.
Citing a “welcome return to a normal pub environment”, the London-listed company also emphasized that “healthy cash generation” had helped it reduce its net debt by £5.7 million to £168.1 at year-end. million, cutting its interim dividend by 20 percent to 10.26pa share.
Boss Simon Dodd said: ‘I am very pleased with the company’s performance and the hard work of our teams in the first half of the year.
“This is the first time in three years that we can report on a period without any Covid-related trade restrictions, with the company returning to normal business.
Recent trade 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 had been compared since the end of the period with last year by 22 percent and 11.1 percent respectively.’
He added: “Bookings are already strong for our first full commercial Christmas in three years, following closely after the World Cup. While we are aware of the current macroeconomic conditions, we have firm contracts for both beverages and utilities, and while we are not immune to external cost pressures in our supply chain, we are taking steps to minimize this.”
The group said it has plowed £28.7m in investment over the period, including four acquisitions in ownership and £14.5m invested in the existing estate.
In its latest set of annual results published in May, Young’s reported pre-tax profits of £41.8 million and sales of £309 million.
On Wednesday, pub group JD Wetherspoon revealed the slowing sales and warned investors it faced “significantly higher” costs across the group.
The pub chain saw comparable sales fall 1.1 percent in the five weeks to November 6 compared to pre-pandemic trading in 2019, after rising 1.5 percent in the previous nine weeks.
Wetherspoon said: ‘Costs, especially with regard to labour, food and repairs, were considerably higher’. The group said interest charges are expected to rise by £10 million next year.