London Pride brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner has vowed to protect its margins in the face of rising ingredients costs and a customer spending squeeze.
Fuller reported a 4% rise in pre-tax profits to £23 million for the year to March 29, but also revealed a weakening trend in underlying sales at its managed pubs and hotels. Like-for-like sales rose 2.4% during the nine weeks to May 31, down from the 4% increase seen for the 43 week period to January 26.
Chiswick in London-based Fuller described the most recent sales performance as "solid", but warned of industry challenges ahead.
Chairman Michael Turner said: "The current inflationary pressures in the UK, particularly on grain, food and energy, are both pushing up our costs and squeezing our customers' disposable incomes.
"Despite these inflationary pressures, we intend to hold our gross margins across both our retail and brewing operations."
Fuller's full year results for the year showed sales 2% ahead at £181.1 million.
Shares in the group were down nearly 6% today.