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Fullers has "cautious optimism" for winter trading

23 November 2007 by

Fuller, Smith & Turner said it was approaching the winter with "cautious optimism" after pub sales and profits rose despite a summer blighted by the poor weather and the introduction of the smoking ban.

Sales at the pub operator and brewer's Inns division rose by 1% in the six months ending 29 September 2007 to £73.5m, while pre-tax profits rose by 16% to £12.7m.

It currently has 363 premises, comprising 150 managed pubs, 207 tenanted or leased pubs and six hotels having sold the Master Brewer and Brigstow hotels last year.

Chairman Michael Turner said: "We have a strong geographical balance across London and the South of England and we continue to seek to acquire additional sites and to manage our portfolio between the managed and tenanted divisions.

"Our investment in outside areas, marketing and focus on creating the best pub in any area ensure that we are well positioned to deal with the winter impact of the smoking ban."

The company also said it was reaping the benefits of its chef training programme, which has helped it develop kitchen personnel and bring them through the ranks.

It credited better skilled staff and an increased focus on local produce, freshly cooked for a rise in food sales, which now contribute 29% of the total sales mix in its managed pubs (2206: 27%).

Average turnover per tenanted pub had increased by 4.5% and turnover it its hotels was up by 7%.

Poor weather not smoking ban affects Fuller's >>

Fuller Smith & Turner reports 23% rise in turnover >>

Fuller, Smith and Turner >>

Fuller's sells London hotel to Tesco >>

Fuller's sells Bristol hotel for £17.09m >>

By Chris Walton

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