Simon Emeny, the managing director of the pub arm of Fuller’s, the London brewer and operator, is to be promoted to the role of group managing director. Emeny will take over the role, which will see him assume overall responsibility for the operations of the company, with both the Fuller's Beer Company and Fuller's Inns reporting to him, in November. The announcement, before today’s annual general meeting, came as it revealed that it had seen like-for-like sales growth of 4.1% in its managed pubs and hotels in the 16 weeks to 17 July. In an interim manangement statement, Fuller’s said that like-for-like profits at its tenanted pubs during the same period were up slightly by 1%. The Fuller’s Beer Company own brewed volumes decline by 2%. It added that net debt at the end of first quarter on 26 June 2010 had fallen to £102.0m, from £107.7m on 27 March, with net debt to ebitda down to 2.3x. Michael Turner, the groups’ chairman, warned there were “economic clouds on the horizon” but said he was confident, “that our strategy ensures the company is well placed”. On the appointement of Emeny as group managing director, he added: “Simon has been a great asset to Fuller's since he joined us in 1996, successfully moulding Fuller's Inns into one of the UK's best quality pub groups. “He has a wealth of experience in the beer and pub industry which will help him drive the business forward whilst preserving our core values. "His new role will enhance Fuller's strong leadership team, ensuring we continue to be the benchmark in both retailing and brewing, serving quality beer in excellent pubs and delivering strong returns for shareholders, while retaining our independence." Emeny said: "Fuller's has a wonderful heritage and I am thrilled that I will be playing a key part in the company's exciting future. Fuller's has had a very good year - the company holds a strong market position and has an estate of great pubs and fantastic beers, ensuring it is well positioned for future growth."