Fuller's Seeks More Pubs after Swallowing Up Gale

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The brewing and pub group Fuller, Smith & Turner is on the hunt for further regional brewers following the smooth integration of its recent acquisition of George Gale & Co. The London Pride brewer, which yesterday posted a 5 per cent rise in pretax profits adjusted for new accounting standards and the effects of the purchase to pounds 18.7m, hopes to benefit from the World Cup by installing more flat-screen TV screens in its pubs.

Like-for-like sales at managed pubs were up 3.6 per cent and overall revenues 12 per cent higher at pounds 145m.

Fuller's substantially increased the size of its 242-strong London-based pub estate when it snapped up George Gale's 111 pubs across southern England for pounds 92m in December. Fuller's pub estate now extends to up to Birmingham in the north and Bristol in the west. Chief executive Michael Turner said the quick integration of the Gale estate had whetted the group's appetite for more buys. If a sizeable business (with 20 pubs plus) came up for sale Fuller's would venture further west, he said, but he was dismissive of the idea of expanding further north. …