• Exports boost beer sales, profits
  • London Pride outperforms UK ale market
  • Economy to remain tough
Fuller, Smith & Turner says cheers to export demand

Fuller, Smith & Turner says cheers to export demand

Strong demand for Fuller, Smith & Turner's beer outside of the UK has helped to protect the company against tough conditions in its home market. 

The London Pride brewer said today (19 November) that it exported 25% more beer in the six months to the 25 September. Exports accounted for 14% of beer sales by volume, compared to 11% in the same period last year.

Demand in mainland Europe and North America, as well as Russia and Japan, bolstered Fuller's against tough conditions in the UK market. Conversely, higher-margin imported beers boosted the group's performance in the UK itself. It said its volume of foreign beers sold in the UK rose by 6% during the period.

Net sales at Fuller's beer business rose by 4% for the half-year, to GBP51.3m US$82.2m), with total volume sales up by 1%. Operating profits rose by 5% to GBP4.1m for the six months. The group said that London Pride outperformed a UK ale market that shrank by 8% in volume for the period.

Fuller's warned that economic conditions in the UK will continue to put pressure on the beer and pub sector. "In January, value added tax will increase to 20% [from 17.5%] and we expect that, with the announced Government spending cuts, the economic climate is likely to remain challenging for some considerable time," said group chairman, Michael Turner.

Fuller's, which also owns pubs across southern England, said total net sales rose by 4% to GBP121.5m for the half-year. Net profits rose by 24% to GBP13.3m, although this included GBP2.1m of one-off gains.

The group's performance is in stark contrast to that of the UK's largest pub companies, such as Enterprise Inns or Punch Taverns, which have seen profits collapse in the last couple of years.