Pub group Fuller’s is raising a glass to a hike in profits after scooping a £164.5m boost from the sale of its brewing business to Asahi.
The family-run firm said its pre-tax profits for the half-year to 28 September surged to £176.2m, up from £20.8m in the same period last year.
Its accounts were bolstered by the sale of its beer arm to the Japanese company, including the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, west London, where the firm was founded in 1845.
Fuller, Smith & Turner, whose iconic ales included London Pride, exited the industry after almost 175 years to focus on its upmarket pubs and hotels.
Chief executive Simon Emeny said the first six months of the year had seen the “biggest transformation in Fuller’s history”.
Latest figures also show earnings before tax and interest dipped slightly to £30.2m for the period.
Fuller’s share price fell last month after the company warned its earnings are forecast to be around £31m for the financial year, below previous expectations.
However, revenues – total income before deductions – increased by 6% to £174.8m for the half-year.
The company also said sales had continued to be solid for the rest of the year.
Total sales rose by 5.1% for the 36 weeks to 7 December, driven by 2.1% like-for-like growth across the company’s managed pubs and hotel business.
In October, the group announced it had agreed a £40m deal to buy Cotswold Inns & Hotels.
The company also confirmed it has secured new offices in Chiswick, which it will move to in the spring.
Mr Emeny said: “Fuller’s is well-funded, has a clear vision, a distinctive strategy, a portfolio of extremely high-quality assets and an excellent culture.
“Against this backdrop, and with an excellent and engaged team of people, we are poised to deliver further growth for our shareholders and our team members, and to ensure even more customers can enjoy all that Fuller’s has to offer.”