Young’s plans to reopen pubs in August – but could open beer gardens next month

Young’s has said it plans to reopen its pubs by August but could open beer gardens and larger sites as soon as next month.

The London-based pub group said it “expects” to have opened its pubs by August 3, having shut all its 276 sites in March due to the Government-mandated lockdown.

The Government has said that pubs will open no earlier than June 4, although hospitality firms are calling for greater clarity on when current restrictions are set to unwind.

Young’s said it will put thorough cleaning and sanitisation measures in place and will ensure social distancing can take place at its sites.

The New Inn, Ealing
The pub firm said beer gardens and larger sites could reopen by mid-July (Young’s/PA)

The update came as the pub group said that total revenues rose by 2.6% to £311.6 million for the year to March 30, despite sales taking a hit of roughly £13 million due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, pre-tax profits decreased to £29.1 million for the year, from £39.5 million a year earlier.

Patrick Dardis, chief executive of Young’s, said: “I am proud of the performance of our business this year despite the unique challenges that we have faced.

“These results demonstrate the continued strength of our strategy of operating a differentiated, premium and well-invested pub estate.

“We are confident with the steps we have taken to safeguard our business from the immediate threat of coronavirus.

“The board expects the business to be in a position to return to profitable growth when this unprecedented period is at an end and conditions allow, and we remain confident in our proven strategy.”

Last week, the company said it expected “lower sales” when its sites reopen, as it told shareholders it would not pay them a dividend for the past year.

Shares in the company moved 0.9% lower at 1,140p in early trading.

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