Pubs operator Fuller, Smith & Turner warned that it expects its full year earnings to be below market expectations after train strikes in Britain dented its holiday sales, sending its shares down almost 7%.
The pub and restaurant industry, which has been limping back to recovery from pandemic lows, had hoped for a boost from a first Christmas in three years devoid of restrictions but nationwide rail strikes over pay amid a cost-of-living squeeze curbed customer visits.
Shares of the FTSE SmallCap .FTSC firm, which have slumped about 35% over the last 12 months, were down 7.6% in morning trade on Monday 23 January.
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"While ongoing strike action will dampen sales, ... we are optimistic that 2023 will deliver further sales growth through a busy calendar of events, and as office workers and tourists continue to return to the capital," Chief Executive Officer Simon Emeny said.
Sales during the four holiday weeks dropped 5% from pre-pandemic levels, hurt by the train strikes, the company, which has a number of pubs across London, said.
It added that the industrial action likely reduced sales by about £4 million since October.
"The disruptive impact of strikes has been well covered, although the profit before tax for Fuller's may be a little higher than investors were thinking," Stifel analysts said in a note.
On a year-on-year basis, Fuller saw a 38% jump in sales for the holiday weeks, benefiting from the soccer World Cup and Christmas trade.
Revolution Bars Group
Last week, UK's Revolution Bars Group also warned on annual profit after the city centre pub chain's Christmas sales were hit by the train strikes.