Coopers Brewery has attributed a 9.1 per cent decline in after tax profits in the 2013-14 financial year to costs associated with the installation of a second bottling line and beer sales shifting from kegs to less profitable packaged beer formats.

Coopers’ after tax profits were down from $30.8 million to $28.0 million, but the brewer once again reported record sales and turnover figures.

Managing director, Dr Tim Cooper, said total bulk or kegged beer sales had fallen 1.5 per cent during the year, while packaged beer sales were up 10.3 per cent.

“Total beer sales in 2013-14 grew 8.1% to 75.3 million litres, continuing the steady growth Coopers has enjoyed since 1994,” he said.

“Turnover for the year reached a record $231 million, 6.9 per cent better than the $216 million in 2012-13.”

Dr Cooper said sales in South Australia fell 0.8 per cent during the year, but it remained Coopers’ largest market accounting for 26.8 per cent of total beer sales. Sales in NSW grew 8.2 per cent in the same period and it now accounts for 26 per cent of Coopers’ volume.

Sales of the international beers distributed by Coopers – Sapporo, Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Kronenbourg Blanc and Mythos – rose 44 per cent in volume and now represent 9.8 per cent of Coopers’ total beer volume. 

“Overall, Coopers now represents just under five per cent of the total Australian beer volume,” Dr Cooper said.

“However, total Australian sales for 2013-14 fell about one per cent, the fifth year in a row total volume has fallen. A substantial factor in this decline has been the twice yearly indexation of beer excise, which puts downward pressure on sales.

“It is now reaching the stage that the excise rises are counter-productive with the additional tax raised being offset by a drop in overall sales.”

Dr Cooper said Coopers planned to spend more than $4.5 million in the next few months to streamline truck movements around the brewery and install four more fermenters to cope with ongoing growth.

The new fermenters will be installed in early 2015, taking the total number at the brewery to 28.

Dr Cooper said that installing the new fermenters required changes to internal roads within the brewery and this work had already commenced.

The works will also streamline truck movements within the brewery and enable up to 60 semi-trailers to be loaded each day.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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