Fuller chairman savages new employment laws

FULLER, SMITH & Turner, the 154-year-old London brewer, yesterday launched a fierce attack on the national minimum wage and working time directive, saying the legislation was cutting into the company's profits.

Anthony Fuller, the chairman, said the laws, which amounted to "tax by the back door", had cut 4.25 per cent from his group's interim profits.

"A housewife who was just working in the evenings to save up for Christmas was happy with the old going rate of pounds 3.40 or pounds 3.50 an hour ... The purpose of the minimum wage was to help people in sweatshops, so the principle is obviously right. But it has backfired on part-time workers," Mr Fuller said. The minimum wage of pounds 3.60 an hour was introduced in April.

"Backpackers just want to earn a bit of money to go round Europe. Now when they leave after three months and a day, you have to start paying them holiday," Mr Fuller said.

His comments came as Fuller unveiled an 8.2 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 7.1m in the half year to 25 September, in line with analysts' estimates. Turnover rose by 16 per cent to pounds 71.4m.

Fuller's sales of cask beers rose by 2 per cent in the period, against a decline of 9 per cent in the broader market. Sales of the flagship brand, London Pride, were up by 3 per cent in cask and 4 per cent overall.

Mr Fuller said its strong brands meant the company was well placed to benefit from consolidation in brewing. "This will undoubtedly continue, and the net effect will be the survival of fewer stronger retail and beer brands."

Mr Fuller was cautious on prospects for the millennium holiday period, but said the 60 Fuller's wine shops would benefit from home-based celebrations. "No one really knows what will happen: will it be a damp squib or will it be fantastic?"

The interim dividend is 4.05p, up from 3.82p. The shares closed down 12.5p at 610p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Tax Manager / Accountant

£35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...

Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - City of London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - Cit...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Debt Collector - Multiple Roles

£21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks