PUB group Fuller’s has said it is optimistic despite facing a “tough winter and a very different looking Christmas”.

The company, which runs 388 pubs and hotels, said its October sales were hammered by the introduction of tiered measures.

Chief executive Simon Emeny said trading steadily improved after the first English lockdown but said the tightening of restrictions again from September “knocked consumer confidence and impacted trading”.

It reported that sales were impacted by the introduction of the “rule of six” and 10pm curfew but added that London’s move into Tier 2 measures had “the largest impact”.

Fuller’s pubs include the Blue Boar in Poole and the Bear of Burton, the Carpenter’s Arms and the Fisherman’s Haunt in Christchurch.

In the New Forest, its pubs include the White Buck Inn, Burley and the Alice Lisle at Ringwood.

Its news came on the same day pub chain Mitchells & Butlers announced losses and 1,300 job cuts.

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Fuller’s said that the government’s guidance for workers to stay at home left central London “like a ghost town”, with sales across its 37 largest pubs in the area falling to less than 30 per cent of levels from the previous year.

It said sales in the final week of October were 57 per cent of levels for the same period last year, across its estate.

The group also confirmed that its staff numbers are 20 per cent lower than they were at the start of the financial year, in April, after major job cuts.

Mr Emeny said: “We are optimistic about the future in the medium term and beyond, but there is no doubt that this will be a tough winter and a very different looking Christmas.

“We will start to reopen our estate in a measured way, navigating the tier system and the restrictions that come with it.

“However, it is important that we see beyond these obstacles and look at the bigger picture.

“The excellent news of successful vaccines gives us confidence where previously there was uncertainty, and with the sensible decisions we have taken during the pandemic, Fuller’s is well-placed for future success.”

It came as the company fell to an adjusted pre-tax loss of £22.2million for the six months to September 26.

Its revenue for the half-year fell by 72.7 per cent to £45.6m compared with the same period last year.