StockMarketWire.com - UK brewer and pub company Fuller Smith & Turner said Friday first-half profits fell 12%, owing to rising costs as the company expanded its footprint.

For the six months ended 29 September, pre-tax profits fell to £20.8m, even as revenue increased 6% to £222.1m.

The fall in profits was blamed on increased investment during the half, as the company acquired 10 new sites - including six Bel & The Dragon country inns in the Home Counties and four City bars that fill geographical gaps in its estate.

Fuller Smith & Turner declared an interim dividend of 7.80p per share, up 3% on-year.

The company reported 'good' performance from managed pubs and hotels with like for like sales rising 4.1% for the half, and 'strong' results from Tenanted Inns with like for like profit increasing 4%.

Total beer and cider volumes for The Fuller's Beer company remained sluggish, rising just 0.2%.

'We made a conscious decision to front-load our investment programme - impacting our profitability by £0.9 million,' said Chief Executive Simon Emeny.

'Although we would have seen profit increase had we not taken this action, we believe this is the right decision and ensures our estate is in the best possible position to benefit from the busy Christmas period and beyond.'

'Since the period end, we have opened The Albert Arms in Esher, with six bedrooms, and added seven new bedrooms to The Fox & Goose, Hanger Lane, while a further 28 bedrooms are due to come on stream before the year end. We will also be opening The Signal Box at Euston Station in December.' At 8:19am: [LON:FSTA] Fuller Smith Turner PLC share price was -4p at 930p



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