Stonegate posts "resilient" full-year results

Stonegate Pub Company has filed its latest financial and operating review.

Profits at the UK’s largest pub group are down on the previous year, despite an increase in revenue of £100m.

Stonegate Pub Company has filed its financial and operating review for the 52 weeks ended 24 September 2024, with the business declaring it "a resilient performance". 

Total revenue for the period was £1.7bn compared to £1.6bn in the 52 weeks ended 25 September 2022. Of the £1.7bn, Stonegate's managed segment contributed £1bn, while the leased and tenanted pubs together contributed £427m (52 weeks 2022: £416m) and the operator-led segment £281m. 

Pre-exceptional operating profit for the period was £293m (2022: £315m). Post-exceptional operating profit for the period was £68m (2022: £118m). Loss before tax was £257m (2022: loss of £130m). 

"This is a resilient performance in the face of a number of challenges facing our sector, including on-going inflation, cost of living pressures and energy prices, which have all impacted profitability," says David McDowall, chief executive of Stonegate Group. "Similarly, the trading period also saw a persistent spell of unseasonable wet weather and recurring industrial action – both which impacted footfall in some locations. Despite this, we have delivered a strong rise in revenue, once again highlighting the strength of our portfolio and breadth of our offering.

"I am really pleased with the performance of the business in 2023. We saw excellent profit growth in our L&T and Craft Union divisions, and as we advance our conversion strategy, I expect this performance to continue. Encouragingly, these numbers do not include the positive effect of our efficiency measures and profit improvement initiatives as well as our asset optimisation strategy which I expect to have a significant impact in 2024 and beyond.

"Overall we are in a very strong position as we head towards summer with major sporting events such as the Euros to look forward to. Some sector challenges remain of course, but we are very optimistic about 2024 and beyond."

Further detail

Sales at Stonegate for the 52 weeks to 24 September 2023 were favourable compared to the prior year, which included the negative impact of the Omicron Covid-19 variant. 

In the period, the group has spent £144m on expansionary, conversion and maintenance capital and has disposed of 68 trading sites, 10 non-licensed and eight non-trading properties in the period for net proceeds of £49m. 

Group cash at the period end was £92m of which £40m is held within the Unique securitisation. Stonegate has access to a further £88m from its revolving credit facility and a further £25m overdraft facility. Non-current borrowings for the period were £3.5bn (2022: £3.8bn).

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