Coopers Brewery has posted its results for the 2022 financial year, with a slight fall in total beer sales, reflecting the tough lingering conditions facing Australia’s on-premise venues.
Australia’s largest independent family-owned brewery recorded total beer sales, excluding non-alcoholic beers, of 79.4 million litres for the 12 months to June 30, 2022. This represented a 3.5 per cent fall on the 2021 financial year volume of 82.3 million litres.
Coopers Managing Director Dr Tim Cooper said the result was in line with the domestic beer industry experience over the same period.
“Overall it’s a commendable result for Coopers given the supply and demand pressures facing the entire industry,” Dr Cooper said.
“Our enthusiasm and drive remain as resolute as ever. “The brewery is in a strong financial position and we maintain a positive long-term outlook which gives us confidence to invest significantly in our operations. We are soon to break soil on one of the most exciting capital expenditure projects in our company’s 160-year history.”
That expenditure will see Coopers’ home at Regency Park in South Australia transformed over the coming year with the construction of a new visitor centre, microbrewery and whisky adjacent to the existing brewery. This $50m investment will position Coopers for the future with tourists among those front-of-mind in the design. A separate $15m expansion of its onsite warehouse is already underway.
The rising popularity of cans has this format now representing 33.5 per cent of Coopers packaged beer sales while keg sales declined further from pre-Covid levels during the 2022 financial year.
Across Australia, sales volume results in the 2022 financial year varied:
- Western Australia – up 2.0 per cent
- New South Wales and ACT – down 4.9 per cent
- Queensland – down 0.8 per cent
- Victoria and Tasmania – down 7.4 per cent
- South Australia – down 4.6 per cent
- Northern Territory – steady
Western Australia was the standout market for Coopers in terms of sales growth, and over the past three years our volumes in the west have risen 19 per cent,” Dr Cooper said.
“While the overall market remains tight, we are seeing some positive signs emerging. “Encouragingly, keg sales have recovered somewhat since June 30 and currently tracking ahead of last year’s results. Production levels at the brewery are also ramping up as we increase our contract manufacturing of more international brands.”
Under a partnership with Molson Coors Beverage Company, Coopers is now manufacturing the Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Chill and Coors brands. Australian manufacturing and distribution agreements have also been extended with Sapporo and Carlsberg during the past financial year.
Profit-before-tax for the 2022 financial year was $27.3m, compared with $36.5m the previous year. The lower profitability is attributable to a decline in keg sales volume of 13.5 per cent, a reduction in malt sales tonnage of 9.3 per cent, and higher costs of freight and logistics, along with higher manufacturing costs, including barley, aluminium, and tin-plate.
A share buyback has been announced, accessible to all of Coopers more than 180 shareholders at a price of $405 per share.
Coopers’ charitable foundation distributed a record annual amount of $760,000 to 25 charitable projects during the year.