• Full-year net profits jump by 29% to GBP24.8m (US$40.4m)
  • Operating profits rise by 6.4% to GBP33.1m
  • Net sales increase by 6.2% to GBP241.9m
  • Group improves beer market share, eyes Olympic Games boost in 2012
Fuller, Smith & Turner improves beer market share

Fuller, Smith & Turner improves beer market share

Fuller, Smith & Turner has reported rises in both profits and net sales for its fiscal year, despite difficult conditions in the UK pub and beer sectors.

A 16% jump in beer exports helped to drive the London Pride brewer to a 2% rise in own-brewed beer volumes during the 53 weeks to 2 April. Fuller's said that one in seven barrels of its beer is now exported, mostly to the US and Canada.

In the UK, the company's own-brewed beer sales slipped by 4% in volume for the year, but still outpaced a lacklustre market over the 12 months. Operating profits at the London-based beer business were hit by higher packaging costs, slipping by 1% to GBP8.8m (US$14.3m).

Despite this, Fuller's said that it will this year spend around GBP4.5m to build new conditioning tanks at its Griffin Brewery in the capital. "This will enable us to continue to meet the growing demand for bottled beers both at home and abroad," it said.

Fuller's as a whole, including its pub business, enjoyed a solid year amid difficult conditions for the UK's on-trade sector.

Group net profits rose by 29% for the 53-week period, to GBP24.8m, boosted by a lower corporate tax rate in the UK. Operating profits increased by 6.4% to GBP33.1m, while net sales rose by 6.2% to GBP241.9m.

The company said that it has made a good start to the new year. Beer volumes are up by 1% for the nine weeks to 4 June, with like-for-like, managed pub sales up by almost 7%, thanks to a spate of bank holidays and good weather.

"We have the financial strength to invest further in new opportunities and should benefit from the “London factor” as the calendar turns towards 2012," said the company, in a nod to London hosting the Olympic Games next year.

But, it warned: "With wages in the UK running behind inflation, our customers’ incomes are being squeezed."

For the company announcement, click here.