London-based pub company and brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner has recorded a 5.1% rise in like-for-like sales among managed pubs and hotels in the nine weeks to 21 January.
The performance means that for the 42 weeks up to 21 January, like-for-like sales growth stands at 4.1%.
Like-for-like profits in the tenanted Inns division increased 1% and own beer volumes for the Fuller's Beer Company grew 1% for the 42-week period.
In November last year Fuller's indicated it would buy five pubs from Marston's for £16m, and also bought the freehold of one of its former leasehold sites, the Old Fish Market in Bristol, both of which helped push its net debt up to £109.4m as at 31 December, up from £92.5m at the half year.
The company said trade had also been good in January, but like-for-like performance in these nine weeks versus had been boosted by the snow in the previous year.
Fuller's also revealed that it had exchanged on two more pubs that are due to complete before the end of March and the two recent acquisitions that are currently closed for extensive work - the Crown Inn, Bishop's Waltham, and the White Swan hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, will reopen in March and April respectively.
Michael Turner, chairman, said: "The company has traded well since we last reported and we have had another strong Christmas. We have now completed or exchanged on 14 acquisitions so far this financial year which gives us good momentum going into a summer of sport and celebration that should lift the national mood. 2012 is finally here and with the world's attention focused on London, we at Fuller's, our capital city's only long-standing brewer, intend to showcase what is great about British beer and pubs."
By Neil Gerrard
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Published by: The Caterer