June 4, 2020 / 6:31 AM / a month ago

Young & Co's Brewery sees bleak FY21, looks to reopen pubs by August

(Reuters) - Young & Co’s Brewery (YNGa.L) said on Thursday it expects its 2021 full-year performance to be materially below average after it posted lower annual pretax profit due to coronavirus-led closures, and that its pubs may reopen by Aug. 3.

The company, which owns more than 200 pubs in London and Southern England, said pretax profit slumped 24.3% to 29.9 million pounds ($37.48 million) for the year ended March 30.

Young’s, which traces its roots back to 1831 as a brewery and pub company, said it expects sales to return to more normalised levels in fiscal year 2022.

“Closure of our pubs for the final 10 days of the financial year and the preceding downturn in trade resulted in an estimated 13.0 million pounds shortfall in revenue,” the company said. The pub operator estimated the impact on annual profit to be 7.7 million pounds.

Last month, the company’s creditors replaced its financial covenant tests with an additional monthly 20 million pounds available liquidity test until June next year.

It also secured extra funding, furloughed over 4,500 staff, cancelled its interim dividend and now has in place 285 million pounds of funds and committed facilities.

The management believes its pubs can operate at about 70% of normal levels, but likely with some more conservative phasing in the initial few months, assuming social-distancing measures of one metre, Mark Irvine-Fortescue, an analyst with UK brokerage Stifel said.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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