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Fuller’s tops expectations with record beer volumes

London brewer and pub operator Fuller, Smith & Turner announced yesterday that it would exceed financial expectations for the year, having ridden out the recession well.

The company reported a like-for-like sales boost over the festive period for its managed division, which covers directly owned pubs and hotels. The division’s sales rose 2.6 per cent in the 11 weeks to 30 January 2010, and 2.8 per cent in the 44 weeks to the same date. That offset disappointment in the tenanted division, which declined two per cent over 44 weeks.

Fuller’s, whose estate covers 367 London pubs, said its brewing arm sold record volumes of its own beer, including London Pride and Honey Dew, in December. However, it added that “severe weather” in January had taken the shine off this success.

Despite forecasting a small dividend increase in June, Fuller’s sounded a cautious note about the financial future, saying: “With inflation set to increase, and tax rises and spending cuts inevitable after the general election, we will have to compete even harder for our customers’ business.”