Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Good summer weather boosts Fullers' profits

People drinking London Pride
Fullers says it is braced for tougher times ahead

Fuller, Smith & Turner, brewer of London Pride, has reported a big jump in half-year profits as the good early summer weather boosted beer sales.

Pre-tax profits came in at £15.1m for the six months to 26 September, a rise of 26% on the £12m the company made a year ago. Sales were up 10% at £116.9m.

Despite the strong results, the brewer said it expected the second half of the year to be "significantly tougher".

Pubs have been closing at a record rate during the recession.

And Fullers said that its strong performance had been boosted by factors that may not be repeated, including "earnings from acquisitions, record low interest rates, a pay freeze and better weather."

It said it remains cautious about the outlook for the UK economy, particularly with VAT returning to 17.5% on 1 January and the fact that "taxes and interest rates must rise".

However, chairman Michael Turner said the company was "well placed to meet these challenges ahead with strong brands and well-controlled costs."

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