Fuller's has reported a one per cent fall in profits for the year to the end of March, but said this represented a "strong performance in tough market conditions".
Adjusted profit before tax for the 52 weeks to March 28 was down one per cent to £22.8m, on group revenue up three per cent to £210m. The Chiswick-based brewer and pub operator increased its final dividend to 7p, up from 6.9p a year ago.
The managed pub division, made up of 156 pubs at year end, saw like-for-like sales increase by three per cent. Fuller's leased and tenated business, made up of just over 200 pubs, recorded a like-for-like profits decline of two per cent.
Fuller's, which brews beers including London Pride, ESB and Discovery, said beer volumes were level across the year, while beer company profits increased by four per cent.
Chairman Michael Turner said the company's performance represented "a strong set of results in what has been a very difficult year given tough market conditions."
The start of the new financial year has seen managed pub like-for-like sales growth of 1.8 per cent in the nine weeks to May 30. Seven pubs have been acquired in the current year, adding to five added to the estate last year.
Turner added: "We remain very cautious about the outlook for the UK economy. With interest rates at an all time low and unemployment rising, we now have the prospect of rising VAT, rising interest rates, and significant tax increases in order to service the nation's debt mountain.
"However, we are well placed to meet the challenges ahead."