Fuller profits rise despite difficult trading climate

image captionFuller's flagship brand London Pride increased its market share

Brewer and pub operator Fuller, Smith & Turner has warned that the difficult economic climate could hit trading for a "considerable" time.

Fuller, reporting an 11% rise in half-year profits to £15.7m, said it was well placed to withstand challenges.

But the planned VAT rise and government spending cuts continued to overshadow the market, the company said.

Total beer sales rose 1%, with Fuller's premium brand, London Pride, increasing its market share.

Revenues for the half-year rose 4% to £121.5m.

The Managed Pubs and Hotels division was the best-performing operation, with profits up 8%, due to a rebound in occupancy rates.

Fuller predominantly operates in south-east England, which the company said would see less impact from the government spending cuts.

The firm also expects an increase in trade from the pending royal wedding and 2012 Olympics.

But Michael Turner, Fuller's chairman, warned about the future economic impact on consumer spending.

"In January VAT will increase to 20% and we expect that, with the announced government spending cuts, the economic climate is likely to remain challenging for some considerable time," he said.

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