Pub and hotel company Fuller’s has seen a rise in its direct bookings after the past year in a bid to break away from its reliance on third-party booking websites.
The company has released its latest financial results for the 52 weeks ended 30 March 2019, which highlighted a 26% increase in direct bookings, after a roll out of targeted digital communications to consumers including post-booking emails and a shorter, snappier campaigns.
The results also showed accommodation sales across its boutique bedrooms rose 4.2% on a like-for-like basis, with average room rate rising by £1.30.
Strong performance from Fuller’s’ managed pubs and hotels division saw sales grow by 4.9%, with 93 bedrooms added to the estate including 15 at The Counting House on Cornhill.
Over the past year, the company acquired 11 new sites including six Bel & The Dragon country inns and was named Accommodation Operator of the Year at The Publican Awards in March.
Revenue across the group was up 7% to £431.1m.
Commenting on the results, Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny, said: “Underpinning this position is a premium pubs and hotels business in robust health. We have had another year of like for like growth that has outperformed the industry.
“Against some incredibly tough comparatives from the hot weather and football fervour of summer 2018, I am pleased to report steady trading for the first 16 weeks of the new financial year with like for like sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels rising by 1.2% and total revenue rising by 2.3%. Like for like profits in our Tenanted Inns were down -3% against very tough comparatives.”
Fuller’s hotels comprise more than 30 properties across the country.