Pub and hotel group Fuller, Smith & Turner has reported a solid start to its financial year with like-for-like revenue up 6% to £174.8m for the 26 weeks to 28 September.
The period saw the sale of the company’s beer business to Asahi Europe for £250m, with a £164.5m profit.
Pre-tax profit was flat at £17.9m , with little change in EBITDA at £30.2m, compared to £30.6m during the same period last year.
Like-for-like sales across the managed portfolio of pub and hotels increased by 2.7%, while tenanted revenue rose by 3% alongside a 3% reduction in profit.
Taking into account recent trading, like-for-like sales at the group’s managed pubs and hotels were up 2.1% for the first 36 weeks of the year, and profits at the tenanted inns dropped by 2% for the same period.
In October Fuller’s completed the acquisition of Cotswold Inns & Hotels, including what it described as “seven stunning country inns and hotels”.
Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, said: “The first half of this year has seen the biggest transformation in Fuller’s history. It has been a time of unprecedented change – and not without its challenges – but we have made good progress and we have a clear view and plan for the next steps in our journey from vertically integrated brewer and retailer to focused premium pubs and hotels business.
“We hope that the incoming government helps us to continue to grow our business by overhauling the business rates system, ensuring a manageable level of wage inflation and creating an immigration system that allows us to recruit and invest in excellent team members from both home and abroad.”
Emeny highlighted a number of new sites in the pipeline including three London pubs: the White Horse at Wembley, the Windjammer at Royal Dock and the Parcel Office at Liverpool Street Station. The company will also add to the Bel & the Dragon collection of pubs that it bought last year from Longshot, with an existing tenanted site in Westerham, Kent, moving into the collection.
Fuller’s total portfolio comprises 179 tenanted pubs and 215 managed pubs and hotels.