London-based brewer and pub company Fuller's has weathered a freezing winter to report a 3.7% rise in like-for-like sales among its managed pubs and hotels for the 10 weeks to 22 January.
The company did not reveal like-for-like sales in its tenanted division but said like-for-like profits were "level" for the 43 weeks to 22 January.
Meanwhile its own beer volumes grew 1% in the 17 weeks to 22 January 2011 but fell 1% over the 43 weeks.
The company also warned that 2011-12 was likely to be tough. "Cost inflation is becoming an issue and we are concerned that in these uncertain times our customers may have less discretionary spend," the company said in an interim management statement.
Despite that it indicated that it was "confident" it would meet its expectations for the full financial year.
Since the half year, Fuller's has disposed of four pubs which no longer fitted its estate: the Fur & Feathers in Herriard, the White Bear in Hounslow, the Waggon & Horses in Brentford and the Jackdaw & Rook in Balham. It now has 360 pubs in its estate.
Net debt stood at £90.5m at the end of the third quarter on 25 December 2010, down from £93.6m.
By Neil Gerrard
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