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Fuller's boss welcomes Tesco as ally in business rates crusade

The chief executive of Fuller, Smith and Turner today welcomed Tesco boss Dave Lewis joining a crusade to reform Britain’s “crippling” business rates system.
Simon Emeny, who is also chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), said the current business rates framework “is not a system which is designed for this digital world we live in”.
Mr Lewis said last year’s business rates overhaul had created an “uneven playing field” and called for reforms, the BBC reported. His plea for change followed a similar demand by Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe.
Mr Emeny said: “I am afraid I totally agree with Dave Lewis’s comments.
"I think the collapse of various different casual restaurant dining groups, the number of CVAs [company voluntary arrangements] that are going through at the moment including House of Fraser, Mothercare, Carpetright, just demonstrates the crippling effect of enormous increase in rents, business rates, national living wage and importers inflation.”
Mr Emeny’s remarks came as Fuller’s as revenue for the year to March 31 rose 5pc to ?403.6m. Profit before tax was ?43.2m, 9pc higher, primarily as a result of a ?6.1m gain from the disposal of properties.
Fuller's boss welcomes Tesco as ally in business rates crusade

The pub sector has spearheaded calls for the Government to revisit changes to the business rates regime, a controversial overhaul of which came into effect in April 2017. Mr Emeny said the sector foots 2pc of the total business rates bill while generating just 0.5pc of the turnover.  
Liberum analyst Anna Barnfather labelled Fuller’s results “another solid year” with Fuller’s managed and tenanted pub divisions driving growth.
The Chriswick-based pub operator and brewer added 10 new sites during the year. Four bars from We Are Bar Group and six boutique Bel & The Dragon hotels.
Mr Emeny said: “It has been a year of building for the future.”
However, Ms Barnfather said: “The performance of the beer company remains more challenging with brand fragmentation driving greater complexity and costs.”
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