By Andrew Starke
Coopers Brewery has enjoyed record sales and profits for the 2009 / 2010 financial year with its premium beer offerings seemingly immune to the malaise affecting much of the beer category.
The privately owned South Australian brewer said turnover for the 12 months ended June 30, 2010 reached a record $179 million, compared with $169 million in 2008 / 2009, while after tax profits reached $23.5 million, compared with $20.3 million the previous year.
Coopers managing director Dr Tim Cooper said that Coopers produced a record 62 million litres of beer over this time period, the first time in the company’s 148 year history it has brewed more than 60 million litres a year.
The brewer attributed its success to increased sales across Australia and the steady take-up of Coopers’ new lagers, Coopers Clear and Coopers 62, combined with continued support for its traditional ales, especially Coopers Pale Ale and Coopers Sparkling Ale.
“While strong growth in beer sales was a key driver of our results, we also enjoyed a 1.9 percent rise in home brew products while malt extract sales grew 14.8 percent,” said Cooper, adding that he expected strong growth to continue in the next 12 months with a permanent second shift having been introduced recently to meet additional demand.
“For some years now we have run an additional shift from October until Christmas to boost stock levels ahead of the busy summer and Christmas periods,” he said.
“In more recent times, we have also run an additional shift for 12 weeks in the New Year to cope with post-Christmas demand.
“This year we extended the post-Christmas second shift until May because of ongoing demand and the decision was made to introduce a permanent second shift.
“This was introduced in September and we are currently working to build stocks in the lead up to summer and Christmas, which is traditionally our busiest time of the year,” he said.
During the Christmas period in 2009, Coopers enjoyed a 9.2 percent increase in the number of the cartons it sold and provision has been made for similar growth again this year.
Coopers’ Regency Park warehouse had the capacity to store around one million cases of beer and stocks are predicted to get close to this figure by late November.