Coopers Brewery has achieved a two per cent growth in sales volumes during the 2018-19 financial year, yet its profit has dropped to $23.1 million, an $11 million loss from the previous year.
Coopers managing director Dr Tim Cooper said that while beer sales volumes had increased to 76.8 million litres, due to new product launches and formats, the profit before tax had declined from $34.3 million during the 2018-19 financial year.
“The reduced profit was attributable to a changing sales mix, higher barley prices and more competitive market conditions with some segments showing declines in retail pricing,” said Cooper.
“The latter renders difficult our ability to recover higher excise duties and costs arising from the imposition of container deposit schemes.”
Cooper added that interest and borrowing costs increased by $1.7 million during the year, which reflected the debt incurred by the malting project and previous share buybacks.
“Sales of manufactured partner brands also fell 11.4%, partly attributable to the conclusion of Coopers’ agreement with Brooklyn Brewery in December 2018. On the other hand, volumes of our naturally conditioned ales and stout increased by 3.1% to represent 81% of total volume,” he said.
The launch of new products Coopers Session Ale and Coopers Dry and the release of Coopers Original Pale Ale in cans helped Coopers Brewery achieve a two per cent growth in sales volumes.
Cooper said Session Ale had experienced solid growth since its release and now represented an important part of the Coopers’ ale portfolio.
“Coopers Dry entered the market to replace Coopers Clear and has been able to carve out a share of the dry or low-carb sector with sales exceeding initial expectations,” he said.
“The release of Coopers Original Pale Ale in cans in August 2018 helped boost sales for our leading product, especially in the second half of the year.
“The Pale Ale cans have greatly exceeded the sales of the former Dr Tim’s Traditional Ale, which nonetheless served its purpose as a trial product.”
Coopers also announced that it had won the Family Business Award of Excellence at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, with the company currently managed by Coopers’ family members of the fifth generation.