Fuller's, the London-based brewer and pub operator that tabled a £92m offer for rival Gales earlier this month, has reported solid growth for the six months to 1 October 2005.
The group boosted turnover by 4% to £67.4m, up from £64.5m in 2004. Although pre-tax profits fell by 1% to £8.4m (down from £8.5m), they actually rose by 5% after stripping out gains from disposals last year.
Fuller's managed pubs boosted profits by 10% and like-for-like sales by 4.4%. City sites recovered from last year's sluggish trade to lift like-for-like sales by 7%.
The group's eight hotels increased turnover by 12% and profits by 7%. Revenue per available room grew by 9% to £45.60 on the back of rises in both average room rate and occupancy (by 5% and 7% respectively).
Profits grew by 9% at the tenanted pub estate and by 6% at Fuller's Beer Company
"The acquisition of Gales will give us benefits of scale that will help us continue to deliver improved value to our shareholders," Fullers' chairman Anthony Fuller said.
Hampshire-based Gales will add 69 tenanted and 42 managed pubs to Fuller's estate of 122 tenanted and 120 managed venues, along with a brewery in Horndean, Hampshire.
By Angela Frewin
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