Fuller profits pour in

24-11-2006

Fuller profits pour in
Pub and brewer group, Fuller, Smith and Turner has reported a 31 per cent increase in first-half pre-tax profits, with its acquisition of rival Gales credited as being the largest contributor to the rise.

In a statement, the London Pride brewer revealed that its pre-tax profits in the six months to September 30th reached £10.9 million, up from £8.4 million a year earlier.

Fuller added that turnover during the period was also up 35 per cent to £91.1 million.

The company said that Gales' summer-orientated pubs, which were acquired by Fuller in a takeover deal last December, had added a "balance" to the company's previously "winter-weighted" business.

Fuller stressed that the acquisition had helped its pub business Fuller's Inns achieve a 65 per cent increase in profits to £13.8 million during the first half.

However, the company stressed that even excluding the impact of the Gales acquisition, its existing premises had also performed well, with like-for-like sales across its long standing portfolio of managed pubs up by 4.3 per cent over the first half.

Meanwhile, profits across the company's brewing arm increased by 14 per cent to £4.2 million during the period, up from £3.6 million a year ago.

Fuller added that London Pride, its leading premium ale, had also increased its share of the cask, bottled and canned ale markets over the first half of the year.

Commenting on the results, Fuller chairman, Anthony Fuller, said: "We have seen an excellent start to the year, with all parts of the business performing well."

"The Gales trading pattern provides a summer balance to our previously winter-weighted business and we anticipate achieving further good results from the combined estate in the second half of the year," he added.

Fuller said that it was increasing its dividend payment for shareholders by 15 per cent, to 6.47 pence per share.


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