Fuller's earnings up

Fuller, Smith & Turner reports a 'good first half performance in changing times'.

Adjusted earnings per share rose by 6% to 32.44p (2015/16: 30.74p) and adjusted profit before tax was also up 6% at £22.8 million.

Revenue rose by 11% to £197.6 million and EBITDA by 9% to £36.3 million. The interim dividend is up 5% at 7.25p per share.

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. "Trading since the period end has been good and as expected, with comparisons to last year being heavily influenced by the 2015 Rugby World Cup. For the first 33 weeks, like for like sales in our Managed Pubs and Hotels grew 2.6%, Tenanted Inns like for like profits declined 2% and Fuller's Beer Company volumes fell 5%. "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. However, Fuller's has a long-term, strategic vision, a solid balance sheet and a predominantly freehold estate, which is well-invested and supported by excellent, engaged team members and dedicated, skilled management. These are the qualities needed to continue to delight and excite our customers, provide a good return for our shareholders and attract the best new recruits to our business."