The UK brewer and pub operator Fuller, Smith & Turner said today that it had seen turnover for the year of £97.0m, flat against the same figure for last year. Profits, however, were £15.3m, down on the 2003 figure of £16.0m.

Fuller, Smith & Turner chairman Anthony Fuller said Friday: "We are confident that the prospects for Fuller's are good."

He added: "The performance of our Hotels Division improved in the final quarter of the year and this has been sustained into the new financial year.

"The Beer Company and Tenanted Inns generate excellent cash flows and we are confident that both divisions will continue to deliver steady growth."

He added: "We will continue to invest in and grow our business, as well as reviewing acquisition opportunities which would enhance shareholder returns."

He said the company has seen an encouraging uplift in sales from the refurbished managed pubs and bars in the year and believes that it is now starting to emerge from a trading downturn in the City.

The Fuller's Beer Company saw growth with profits up 14% to £7.8m. Total own beer volumes were up 2% to 195,000 barrels, driven by a 9% increase in the off-trade.

The Fuller's Wine Division showed growth in the year with total wine volumes up 5% and a 21% increase in profits.