UK: Fuller, Smith & Turner FY profits slip

By | 5 June 2009

Fuller, Smith & Turner, the UK brewer and pub owner, has reported a drop in full-year earnings due to impairment charges, but higher beer sales boosted group revenue.

Fuller said today (5 June) that net profits after tax and one-off impairment charges for the year to 28 March were GBP8.9m (US$14.3m), down from GBP19.1m a year earlier.

Net sales rose by 3% to GBP210m for the year, said Fuller, partly led by a 5% sales rise for the firm's brewing division.

Beer sales totalled GBP91.8m, against GBP87.7m the year before, said Fuller, which owns the London Pride ale brand.

The London-based group said that it gained market share as own-brewed beer volumes slipped by only 2% in a market down by 8% over the year.

"Our sponsorships of the English Golf Union and the London Marathon are now well established and provide an excellent platform for growing sales and raising brand awareness," it said, adding that it has completed a bottling line upgrade at its brewery in order to increase potential output.

In its outlook, Fuller remained cautious about the prospects for the UK beer and pub sector. "We remain very cautious about the outlook for the UK economy. With interest rates at an all time low and unemployment rising, we now have the prospect of rising VAT, rising interest rates, and significant tax increases in order to service the nation's debt mountain."

But, the firm said that it is well-placed to weather the storm: "The pubs that we have acquired in the last four months are all integrated and performing well. We have a strong balance sheet and highly cash generative assets."

Sectors: Beer & cider

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