Fuller’s has this morning reported a 6.5% increase in like-for-like sales across its managed pubs and hotels division, helped by a rise in like-for-like food sales of 7.7% for the 26 weeks to 27 September 2014.

Its tenanted Inns like-for-like profits increased by 5% during the period while total beer and cider volumes rose by 6%.

The company said it had seen a positive start to the second half and trading for the 33 weeks to 15 November 2014 has been good. Like-for-like sales in its Managed Pubs and Hotels have increased by 6.8%, while its Tenanted like-for-like profit is up by 3%. Total beer and cider volumes up 4% during first 33 weeks.

Total revenue for the group for the half year increased by 10% to £161.6m and this resulted in adjusted pre-tax profit rising by 8% to £19.6m. Adjusted earnings per share climbed by 12% to 27.67p (2013: 24.79p), while EBITDA increased by 9% to £30.7m.

During the period its acquired 51% of The Stable, the craft cider and gourmet pizza business, and opened a seventh site with up to four more planned for the next 12 months.

The company also announced that with the ever increasing amount of government intervention in the sector, it has decided to put more resource behind its corporate affairs.

It said: “Therefore, after more than 20 years running one of the industry’s most successful sales forces, Richard Fuller will be taking up a new position of corporate affairs director. He will act as Fuller’s main liaison with Government, industry and the communities in which we operate. In order to facilitate this move, the sales team will now report directly to the managing director of the Fuller’s Beer Company and personnel, currently part of Richard’s remit, will report directly to chief executive Simon Emeny.”

Profitacross the group’s managed estate in the first half was up by 13%. The company said that its strong financial position has enabled it to continue its programme of acquisitions and redevelopments, providing growth opportunities for the future.

Total revenues across its managed pubs and hotels for the first half of the year increased by 13% to £106.4m. It said that accommodation also continued to perform well, with like for like sales rising by 10.4% across its 641-strong boutique bedroom portfolio.

It said that food sales have risen by 14% as the company pursues its goal of being as famous for its food as it is for its beers.

It said that its Tenanted Division also had a very strong six months. Profits climbed by 5% on a like for like basis and 2% in total to £6.3m. It said: “We continue to invest in our pubs and, as a Company, we firmly believe we benefit from having a balanced Managed and Tenanted estate.”

At £16m, revenue is in line with the prior year, as a result of pub disposals during the last 12 months. In addition, the average EBITDA per pub also grew by 4%.

The group’s net debt increased by £16.1m during the period to £155.m. Total capital expenditure for the period of £34.4m included acquiring 51% of The Stable Pizza & Cider Limited, the freehold of The Bull Hotel, Bridport and the purchase of a further three pubs.

Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, said: “It has been an exciting six months for the company and I am pleased to report a strong operational performance in our existing business combined with striking new long term investments for the future.

“Our business has a clear vision and long term strategy focusing on recruiting and developing the best people, enhancing our premium drinks portfolio, continuous investment in our estate and developing our range of freshly-made seasonal dishes. The result of this strategy is another significant increase in sales and profit.

“We have seen a positive start to the second half. The company is in robust health and we face the future with optimism and confidence. Our high quality predominantly freehold estate, passionate team and healthy balance sheet put us in an excellent position to continue to deliver good returns for the company and our investors. ”