Poor Weather Hits Sales at Fuller, Smith & Turner

LONDON -- Fuller, Smith & Turner (LSE: FSTA.L  ) , the family-run pub group and brewer of London Pride and other notable ales, reported that total sales for managed pubs and hotels grew 8% in its interim statement this morning. However, persistent rain affected sales in a large number of pubs with gardens, causing like-for-like sales to decline by 1.1%.

The group, which has increased its dividend every year since 1974, stated that the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012 benefited other divisions of the business more noticeably, with Tenanted Inns like-for-like profits up 1% and The Fuller's Beer Company total beer volumes growing by 1%, helped by the launch of Hope and Glory in May and Wild River in June, which have both proved very popular.

Cash generation is very strong and net debt at the end of the first quarter fell to 134.5 million pounds, down from 138.2 million pounds on March 31, 2012.

The group expects to see some uplift from the Olympic Games. Chairman Michael Turner said:

With the opening ceremony a mere nine days away, and as the Olympic Torch weaves its way closer to the capital, past a growing number of our pubs and hotels, we can see the excitement building. The Brewery is running at full tilt to ensure that everyone can celebrate with a pint of London Pride.

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