Fuller’s profits and sales rise after brewing arm sale

Pub group Fuller’s said profits have jumped higher for the past six months after a £164.5 million boost from the sale of its brewing arm.

The company said its statutory pre-tax profits for the half year to September 28 have surged to £176.2 million, from £20.8 million in the same period last year, after it was buoyed by the sale of its Chiswick brewery to Japanese company Asahi.

The company’s earnings before tax and interest slipped marginally to £30.2 million for the period.

Its share price slipped last month after informing investors that earnings are forecast to be around £31 million for the financial year, below previous expectations.

Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny (Fuller's/PA)
Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny (Fuller's/PA)

Simon Emeny, chief executive of the company, said the first six months of the year had seen the “biggest transformation in Fuller’s history”.

Revenues increased by 6% to £174.8 million for the half year despite the period of significant change.

The company said sales have continued to be solid for the rest of the year, despite a “context of consumer unease” due to Brexit and political uncertainty.

It said total sales have risen by 5.1% for the 36 weeks to December 7, driven by 2.1% like-for-like growth across its managed pubs and hotel business.

In October, the group announced it has agreed a £40 million deal to buy Cotswold Inns & Hotels.

Mr Emeny also said he hopes the next Government will help to “overhaul the business rates system”, manage wage inflation and create an immigration system that “allows us to recruit and invest in excellent team members from both home and abroad”.

He added: “Fuller’s is well funded, has a clear vision, a distinctive strategy, a portfolio of extremely high quality assets and an excellent culture – which stands us in good stead to navigate further political and economic turbulence.

“Against this backdrop, and with an excellent and engaged team of people, we are poised to deliver further growth for our shareholders and our team members, and to ensure even more customers can enjoy all that Fuller’s has to offer.”

The company also confirmed it has secured new offices in Chiswick, which it will move to in the spring.