Fuller hopes the Olympics will have enduring legacy

London Pride brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner toasted an Olympics sales hike yesterday and said it hoped the Games would provide an “enduring boost”.

The group said guests checking in for London 2012 saw sales from accommodation at its pubs and hotels jump 10.8 per cent in the half-year, helping underlying pre-tax profits rise 4 per cent to £17.1m in the six months to September 29.

Overall like-for-like sales at its managed pubs and hotels rose 1.6 per cent after seeing sales growth across accommodation, food and drink.

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Beer sales rose 1 per cent and Fuller – based in Chiswick, West London – said it ran a London Pride marketing campaign in London taxis, train stations and riverboats in a bid promote the tipple to London visitors.

The group said it had maintained sales growth into the second half, with like for like sales in its managed pubs and hotels business up 2.1 per cent in the 33 weeks to November 17.

But it has seen a drop-off in performance across its tenanted inns, typically run by self-employed landlords, with sales flat in the 33-week period, while beer volumes also failed to grow as it came up against tough comparatives from last year’s warmer autumn weather.

Chairman Michael Turner said: “We have no doubt that Fuller’s historic London heritage and iconic brands will receive an enduring boost for many years to come from this unique sum- mer.”

Fuller is the latest pub group to cheer sales growth from the summer’s historic sporting events.

On Thursday, pub group Young & Co said promotions around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games had boosted trade.

Fuller’s total group revenues were up 8 per cent to £137.9m over the half year, but Mr Turner said a “staggering” 36 per cent had gone on levies and taxes.

A vocal critic of the Government’s beer tax policy, he warned that duty increases were damaging the industry and urged a rethink ahead of next year’s budg-et.

Peroni brewer SAB Miller on Thursday slammed the planned 2 per cent above inflation beer duty increase, saying that it would knock the industry at a difficult time.