|Fuller's is Not Unwell|
Profits up as brewer buys Coach and Horses
Chiswick brewer, Fuller, Smith & Turner has reported an increase of 16% rise in pre-tax profits to £31 million. Along with its results it has announced that it has acquired the Coach and Horses, the hangout of Soho Bohemians that was made famous by featuring in the West End play, 'Jeffrey Barnard is Unwell.' The landlord of the pub on Greek Street, Norman Balon, claimed to be the rudest in London. He sold the pub to Alastair Choat in 2006 but it remains popular with writers and artists and continues to host the fortnightly Private Eye lunch. Fuller's have pledged to maintain the unique character of the pub although that would presumably not extend to furthering its reputation for poor food and bad service. They plan to 'senstively 'refurbish the Grade II listed building.
As part of the same deal they have also acquired The Cabbage Patch in Twickenham and The Crown in Bishop's Waltham. Fuller's managing director, Simon Emeny said: "These acquisitions represent an exciting period for Fuller's as we look to extend our position in London but also expand into new areas where we believe our brand will be well-received."
Fuller's puts its strong profit performance down to economic resilience in the southeast of England along with good weather and Bank Holidays. The extra Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding helped them boost like for like sales. The final dividend has been increased 8% to 7.05p.
Chairman Michael Turner sounded a note of caution for the future saying the company would have to work hard to maintain growth as wages in the UK remain behind inflation and incomes are squeezed.
He added: "We believe, however, that as the consumer is forced to become ever more discerning, our high quality offer of leading beer brands and well invested, often historic, pubs will be increasingly attractive and position us well for growth. We have the financial strength to invest further in new opportunities and should benefit from the 'London factor' as the calendar turns towards 2012."
June 13, 2011