The 2023 Fuller’s AGM was held on 20 July at the George IV pub on Chiswick High Road in London. The meeting was well attended, despite the impact of a national rail strike being held on the same day.
The Chairman reviewed the previous year, detailing the challenges faced, most notably energy prices and other rising costs. He went on to explain how the company had responded, and highlighted some of the changes to the estate, including new venues and significant refurbishments. A positive sales trend has been seen in recent weeks, with tourism increasing and office workers returning to the city.
I asked about trends in cask ale sales seen in the last twelve months. The chief executive replied that cask ale makes up around 11% of Fuller’s sales, and is one of the reasons customers choose Fuller’s pubs. There has been a growth in sales in the last three months. There is always a balance to be struck between offering a broad range of ales and being able to maintain quality. The brewery continues to offer seasonal beers in addition to the core range.
Other questions included scrutiny of the decision to transfer a number of pubs from managed to tenancy, and questions about the closure or sale of specific pubs.
Following the meeting, shareholders were given the opportunity to sample a couple of drinks from the Fuller’s range.
Ian Brindley – CMIC Committee Member