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21-Jul-2009: Interim Management Statement

16 weeks to 18 July 2009

Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C., today made the following Interim Management Statement for the 16 week period from 29 March 2009 to 18 July 2009, in advance of the Company's Annual General Meeting to be held at 11.00 am, 21 July 2009, in the Hock Cellar, Griffin Brewery, Chiswick, London W4 2QB.

The Company has traded well in the first 16 weeks to 18 July 2009. Fuller's Inns saw like for like sales in its managed pubs and hotels increase by 2.9% in the period, whilst tenanted like for like profits were down 1%. The Fuller's Beer Company's own brewed beer volumes grew by 2%.

Trading has benefited from the good weather compared to the prior year. Our recent acquisitions are performing well and our fastest growing beer has been the wonderfully refreshing Organic Honey Dew. Cash generation has been good, aided by low borrowing costs. At the end of the first quarter on 27 June 2009, net debt was £112m and net debt to EBITDA was under 2.6x (proforma for the
recent acquisitions).

The outlook for the rest of the financial year remains difficult to judge, with so much dependent on the direction of the economy and how the consumer will react to the impending tax rises, the most significant being the increase of VAT on 1 January 2010. However, although it is early in the year, the Company has enjoyed a good first quarter and we anticipate that we will perform at least in line with our expectations for the full year.

Michael Turner, Chairman, commented as follows:

'I am pleased with our performance in the first 16 weeks of this year. As the sun has shone, our customers have defied the economic gloom to come and enjoy our outstanding cask conditioned ales, delicious food, great wines and exemplary service. Our long-term strategy of focusing on quality, cash generation and a strong balance sheet continues to prove to be resilient and, we believe, is the right strategy for our shareholders.'

The next report will be on 20 November 2009 when the Company issues its half year accounts for the 26 weeks to 26 September 2009.

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For further information, please contact:
Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C.
Press Office 020 8996 2175/2198/2048
Mobile: 07831 299 801/07748 657 854

Michael Turner: Press 020 8996 2048
James Douglas: Analysts 020 8996 2048

Merlin 020 7653 6620
Paul Downes 07900 244 888 (mobile)
Toby Bates 07930 480 391 (mobile)


Category: Interim Management Statement

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