Young’s saw its profit slump 11.3% in the year ended 30 March 2020, after the pandemic had a “significant impact” on its full-year results.
The pub operator said that lockdown had a “disproportionate” impact on profits, estimated to be £7.7m due to the “limited opportunity” for mitigating actions.
In addition, the closure of its sites for the final 10 days of the financial year, as well as the preceding downturn in trade, resulted in an estimated £13m shortfall in revenue.
Like-for-like sales were also down 2.4% in the full-year period, which the group attributed to the “wettest winter on record”, the month-long rail strike in London throughout December, and the first winter election since 1923.
Total group revenue was up 2.6% to £311.6m in the period, however, while managed house revenue was up 3% to £299.1m. This was supported by a “significant” contribution from the Redcomb pubs following their acquisition in January last year.
In its latest update, Young’s warned that the extent of the pandemic’s damage going forward is “largely unknown”, adding that there is “no experience of such a crisis” and no clear indicators of what the lasting effects on consumers will be.
Nonetheless, it now expects its pubs to have opened by 3 August, and predicts its next full-year trading will be “materially” below average. The group also expects sales to return to “more normalised” levels in 2022.
Patrick Dardis, CEO of Young’s, said: “We are confident with the steps we have taken to safeguard our business from the immediate threat of coronavirus.
“The board expects the business to be in a position to return to profitable growth when this unprecedented period is at an end and conditions allow, and we remain confident in our proven strategy.”