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Nov. 18, 2016, 3:12 a.m. EST

Fuller's lifts interim dividend as profit edges up

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By MarketWatch

LONDON--Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC (FSTA.LN) Friday increased its interim dividend by 5% after recording half year earnings.

The brewer and pubs firm's pretax profit during the 26 weeks ended Sept. 24, rose slightly to 21.4 million pounds ($26.1 million) from GBP21.2 million a year earlier on revenue which rose 11% to GBP197.6 million from GBP177.7 million the previous year.

Fuller's said it is increasing its interim dividend to 7.25 pence from 6.90 pence the year earlier.

"We have had a good start to the year and our Managed Pubs and Hotels, which represent the largest share of our profits, have yet again led the way with a rise in like for like sales that has outperformed the market," Chief Executive Simon Emeny said.

There is no doubt that the U.K. economy is facing some significant challenges, Mr. Emeny said adding that the impact of increases in business rates and the National Living Wage, combined with uncertainty around the U.K.'s departure from the E.U., make for changing times ahead.

"However, Fuller's has a long-term, strategic vision, a solid balance sheet and a predominantly freehold estate, which is well-invested and supported by excellent, engaged team members and dedicated, skilled management. These are the qualities needed to continue to delight and excite our customers, provide a good return for our shareholders and attract the best new recruits to our business," Mr. Emeny said.

-Write to Razak Musah Baba at razak.baba@wsj.com; Twitter: @Raztweet

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