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Fuller's pubs raises a cheer with 5% profits rise


The pub group highlights its resilience in the face of tough economic conditions

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Fuller Smith and Turner posted first-half profits rise of 5 percent on Friday highlighting its resilience in the face of tough economic conditions and continued pub closures.

The pub management and beer company reported adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months to the beginning of October of £16.5 million, on of £128 million, a rise of 6 percent.

The company said it has experienced growth in all parts of its business, as its London focus gave it resilience to the economic downturn.

Although pub popularity has been very unpredictable, company chairman Michael Turner said in an interview with Reuters that Fuller's - which has a portfolio of 362 pubs and hotels in London and south east England - had made continued progress.

"This is a solid set of results, driven by growth in all parts of the business," Turner said.

"I think London, in particular, has been more resilient to the downturn. At the moment, however, consumer trends are unbelievably difficult to spot, there's a bigger variation than has ever been the case before."

Managed pubs and hotels, which make up the largest part of the business, were trading well with like-for-like sales up 3.8 percent in the 33 weeks to 19 November, it said in a statement on Friday.

Turner said the company, which has bought 12 pubs since the end of last year, has increased its bank facilities to £120 million to support further acquisitions.

"In this market we're able to identify specific sites and are able to buy on an individual basis whereas in the past you had to buy groups of pubs," said Turner.

Shares in the company were trading at 687 pence on Friday, valuing Fuller's at around £226 million.

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Fuller's pubs raises a cheer with 5% profits rise
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