London Pride brewer shrugs off poor weather

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Fuller, Smith & Turner, the brewer and pubs operator behind the London Pride cask ale, has posted an 8 per cent rise in half-year revenues despite disruption caused by the Olympic Games and the dismal summer.

The group reported revenues of £137.9 million for the six months to 29 September, up from £128.2m for the same period last year, as total beer volumes nudged up 1 per cent.

Adjusted pre-tax profits rose 4 per cent to £17.1m and shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 5.35p per share, an increase of 6 per cent over last year’s payout.

Chairman Michael Turner said: “Managed pubs and hotels, our largest division, has delivered a robust performance against the backdrop of a unique combination of events in London and the wettest summer in 100 years.”

Like-for-like sales at the firm’s managed pubs and hotels rose 1.6 per cent during the first half, with contributions from 13 pubs acquired last year helping to increase total revenues by 10 per cent to £86.1m. Operating profits before exceptional items at the division rose 5 per cent to £10.9m.

Douglas Jack, analyst at Numis Securities, said: “We believe Fuller’s is making good progress on numerous fronts, which, combined with expansion, should offer attractive medium-term forecast upside.”