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27-Jan-2012: Interim Management Statement

27-Jan-2012: Interim Management Statement

Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C. ('Fuller's' or 'the Company') today reports its trading performance for the 42 weeks to 21 January 2012.

In the 9 weeks to 21 January 2012, the Company has traded well with like for like sales in Managed Pubs and Hotels up 5.1%, bringing the like for like sales growth for the 42 weeks to 4.1%. Like for like profits in the Tenanted Inns division increased 1% and Own Beer volumes for the Fuller's Beer Company grew 1% for the 42 week period.

The Company's balance sheet and cash generation remain strong. As at 31 December 2011, net debt was £109.4m, up from £92.5m at the half year following the previously announced acquisition of five pubs from Marston’s on 1 November 2011 for £16m, the purchase of the freehold of one of our formerly leasehold sites, The Old Fish Market in Bristol, and £5.1m of share buy-backs in the quarter.

Fuller’s once again enjoyed a strong Christmas, with over 40 managed pubs having record weeks. Trade has also been good in January, but like-for-like performance in these nine weeks versus prior year has been boosted by the snow in the previous year. Given the high level of economic uncertainty in the UK and the rest of Europe we must remain cautious about the outlook for 2012.

However, we are confident that our acquisitions pipeline and refurbishment programme will continue to give us good momentum going into a summer of sport and celebration that should lift the national mood. We have exchanged on two more pubs that are due to complete before the end of March and the two recent acquisitions that are currently closed for extensive work, The Crown Inn, Bishop’s Waltham and The White Swan Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, will reopen in March and April respectively.

Michael Turner, Chairman, commented as follows:

“The Company has traded well since we last reported and we have had another strong Christmas. We have now completed or exchanged on 14 acquisitions so far this financial year which gives us good momentum going into a summer of sport and celebration that should lift the national mood. 2012 is finally here and with the world’s attention focused on London, we at Fuller’s, our capital city’s only long-standing brewer, intend to showcase what is great about British Beer and Pubs.”

The Company will next report on 31 May 2012 when it releases its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 31 March 2012.

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For further information, please contact:
Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C.
Press Office 020 8996 2198/2048/2175
Mobile: 07789 396197

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

Merlin: 020 7726 8400
Paul Downes: 07900 244 888
Toby Bates: 07876 161314
Category: Interim Management Statement

Category: Interim Management Statement

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