As businesses anxiously await the details of the government’s promised financial aid to help cover their fluctuating energy bills, a pub operator has revealed it is facing an £18m hit without the help.
In a trading update to the market on Tuesday, Fuller, Smith & Turner (F,S&T), which owns around 180 restaurants and a number of hotels, said it expected demand for gas and electricity in its current financial year to total £8m in 2021/22.
He called for clarity on the support that firms could expect, due later this week, while revealing that sales continued to recover in the first 25 weeks of their business to 17 September.
He said total sales were up 3% against pre-pandemic levels and 50% higher than the same period last year, which was plagued by continued covid restrictions.
On a like-for-like basis, sales are up 21%.
But the company said that, looking forward, it was mindful of the pressure on the available printing for income the price of life crisis in spite of the arrival energy price guarantors gas and electricity household expenses for the next two years from October.
The government also announced this month that businesses would benefit too but only for six months, with more targeted subsidies to follow.
More, expected to include retrospective support, released earlier mini-provisions two on Friday
F,S&T said of its position: “A year ago we had purchase contracts in place to cover 50% of our annual gas and electricity requirements. Recent energy markets have seen costs increase even further to unprecedented levels.
“With growing uncertainty and the risk of even higher market costs for energy than we had in the winter months, we are buying additional contracts to cover what we anticipate will be our annual demand, taking care of the months ahead.”
The company said that it had made “good progress” in implementing several projects, with more to follow, which would reduce its energy use and “help to mitigate the increase in costs.”
Chief executive Simon Emeny said: “While sales continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we are aware that we are increasingly struggling ahead of the times ahead.
“Things across the hospitality sector are experiencing unsustainable increases in energy costs.
“Despite proactively redeeming contracts to mitigate Fullon’s impact, we will see significant increases this year and encourage the government to provide much-needed clarity on its proposed support package so we can plan accordingly.”
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