Fuller's posts profits rise and moves into cider market

Fuller’s has posted a 5% rise in annual profits and celebrated by purchasing premium cider producer Cornish Orchards.

The London Pride brewer saw revenues rise 7% to £271.5 million in the 52 weeks to March 30 and adjusted profit before tax went up 5% to £31.7 million.

It announced a move into the premium cider market with the purchase of Cornish Orchards and its flagship Cornish Gold brand for £3.8 million.

Chairman Michael Turner said he was “pleased to announce a strong performance” for the group and that he was looking forward to “the prospect of a year less blighted by the weather”.

He added: “Established in 1999, Cornish Orchards produces premium cider with genuine provenance, hand crafted from freshly pressed apples. 

“The production facilities in Duloe, Cornwall, are well invested with potential for further expansion on the site. 

“The flagship brand, Cornish Gold is a refreshing, and truly delicious cider of uncompromising quality, making it a perfect fit with Fuller's outstanding ales. 

“The premium cider market is a strong growth area, with healthy margins and the full award winning range of ciders and artisan soft drinks are ideal for our portfolio, and will provide the opportunity to drive incremental sales through our existing sales channels.”

Bill Simmons, national account controller for Fuller’s off-trade business, told OLN: “Ales are performing well due to the on-going trend of consumers staying in rather than going out to drink.  

“However, they are now willing to trade up when buying ales from the supermarket.

"Ales can continue to increase penetration and we can draw comparisons from other categories such as cider to demonstrate this. The cider category which was once seen as dull, boomed due to innovation. If brewers continue to innovate and experiment, sales of ale will continue to increase.”

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