Belfast Telegraph

London Pride brewer sees beer and cider sales slide

Fuller, Smith and Turner said its pubs and hotels business "outperformed the market", but saw beer and cider sales slide 4%.

The firm said adjusted pre-tax profits rose 6% to £22.8 million in the half year to September 24, while revenues climbed 11% to £197.6 million.

The London Pride brewer said half year like-for-like sales at its managed pubs and hotels arm climbed 3.4% driven by a growing demand for food.

However, the firm said it was bracing itself for more Brexit uncertainty and rising cost pressures from a jump in business rates.

Chief executive Simon Emeny said: "We have had a good start to the year and our managed pubs and hotels, which represent the largest share of our profits, have yet again led the way with a rise in like-for-like sales that has outperformed the market.

"There is no doubt that the UK economy is facing some significant challenges. The impact of increases in business rates and the National Living Wage, combined with uncertainty around the UK's departure from the EU, make for changing times ahead."

Revenues at The Fuller's Beer Company rose 19% despite beer and cider volumes dropping 4%.

Meanwhile, tenanted inns, which are managed by landlords, saw like-for-like profit drop 2%.

Paul Hickman, head of research at Edison, said: "Trading at Fuller's pubs saw a marked impact from uncertainty ahead of the Brexit vote, but the company still reported a good first half.

"However, the cost pressures of the National Living Wage, food cost inflation and large increases from business rates in the London area will need to be managed."