• Coopers Brewery reported a 2.8 per cent increase in total beer sales for FY21, but took a hard hit from COVID-19 related disruptions, with bulk or kegged beer down 21 per cent on FY19. Coopers MD Dr Tim Cooper. (Image: Coopers)
    Coopers Brewery reported a 2.8 per cent increase in total beer sales for FY21, but took a hard hit from COVID-19 related disruptions, with bulk or kegged beer down 21 per cent on FY19. Coopers MD Dr Tim Cooper. (Image: Coopers)
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Coopers Brewery reported a 2.8 per cent increase in total beer sales for FY21, but took a hard hit from covid related disruptions, with bulk or kegged beer down 21 per cent on FY19.

Coopers managing director Dr Tim Cooper said the brewery achieved “better than expected” sales considering the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Profit-before-tax for FY21 was $36.5 million, compared with $34.3 million the previous year, with lower operational and external expenses having an impact on the bottom line.

“The challenges faced by the hospitality industry and related consumer spending behaviour had varying impacts on the sales of packaged, bulk and DIY beer,” Cooper said.

“Overall, we’re seeing consumers continue to gravitate towards authentic brands they can trust with emphasis on high quality and local provenance. That is driving demand for Coopers beer despite the pandemic still acting to suppress keg sales across the industry,” he added.  

But in the canned format, the company recorded its highest volume of packaged sales on record.  

“Cans continued their ascendency and now represent more than 30 per cent of our packaged beer sales. Coopers Pale Ale is our clear leader in this format but well supported by XPA, Sparkling Ale and Mild Ale, with the latter benefiting from a strong trend towards mid-strength beer,” Cooper said.

There was also strong demand for Coopers high quality malt, particularly from new and existing international customers across Asia, with the plant operating at near capacity.

Homebrewers have remained active globally and pushed export sales of DIY beer up by 31 per cent, while domestic sales moderated after strong sales last year.

Coopers invested $2 million in upgrading its keg line while the channel was essentially closed, refurbishing 55,000 kegs.

It is looking to expand its warehouse at Regency Park, investing $15 million in the project to almost double its storage capacity.

Fully franked dividends of $13.50 per share were paid in the financial year. A share buyback has also recently been announced, accessible to all of Coopers more than 170 shareholders at a price of $425 per share.

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