The company said operating profit for its craft beers within The Fuller’s Beer Company rose by 8%, although total beer and cider volumes decreased by 4% in the 26 weeks to 24 September 2016.
Fuller’s has developed its portfolio of premium brands over the past few months with the addition of new Sierra Nevada beers and Alhambra, a premium lager imported from Spain.
Commenting on the overall results, which includes its Managed Pubs & Hotels and Tenanted Inns divisions, chief executive Simon Emeny said: “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 rate and the National Living Wage, combined with uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU, makes 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.”