January 30, 2020 / 8:06 AM / 18 days ago

Fuller Smith & Turner records higher Christmas and New Year sales

(Reuters) - Fuller Smith & Turner Plc (FSTA.L) on Thursday reported higher sales at its pubs and hotels during the Christmas and New Year period, in its first festive season after the sale of its beer business to Japan’s Asahi Group (2502.T) last year.

Fuller has joined its peers Mitchells & Butlers (MAB.L) and J D Wetherspoon (JDW.L) which posted impressive performances during the festive season.

“It’s been a year of change for Fuller’s and this is a good first Christmas as a focused premium pubs and hotels business,” Chief Executive Officer Simon Emeny said.

British pub operators and restaurant chains have suffered due to steep costs on the back of higher wages and energy bills.

However, recent surveys have pointed to a rebound in consumer spending after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s landslide election win in December.

Fuller sold its beer unit in January last year to Japanese brewer Asahi to focus on pubs and hotels, which had generated 87% of its operating profit.

Like-for-like sales in managed pubs and hotels rose 4.3% for the six weeks ended Jan. 18, while for the 42-week period sales were up 2.5%, the company said.

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta

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