Coopers Brewery has reported increased sales volume of 82.3 million litres in the 12 months to June 30, 2021, up 2.8 per cent on the previous financial year.

While the volume is still below Coopers’ record sales of 83.8 million litres in 2016-17, the brewery is looking to the future, with plans to expand its onsite warehousing capacity.

With the impacts of the pandemic still being felt during the financial year, Coopers Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said the brewery had achieved better than expected sales results.

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

“Bulk, or kegged beer, has continued to be under pressure, and was down 21 per cent on the volume of the 2019 financial year, but more than 35 per cent down on the peak volume of 13.4 million litres achieved 10 years ago in the 2011 financial year.

“However, 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.”

Dr Cooper said that thanks to the increasingly popular can format, packaged sales reached their highest volume on record.

“Cans continued their ascendency and now represent more than 30 per cent of our packaged beer sales,” he said.

“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.”

Dr Cooper also said the brewery had taken the opportunity of lower keg sales to invest over $2m in upgrading its keg line and refurbishing 55,000 kegs, he added that the company was also looking to expand.

“We have also just submitted plans to Council for a 5500 square metre expansion to our warehousing facilities at Regency Park. This $15m investment, which boosts our beer storage capacity at the brewery by almost 50 per cent, will allow us to store all our product on site where currently we use some off-site facilities for additional requirements.”

Coopers’ portfolio was expanded during the year with the limited releases of Hazy IPA and Australian IPA, while the relaunch of Pacific Pale Ale has also proved popular.

Strong demand for Coopers high quality malt, particularly from new and existing international customers across Asia, has the plant operating at near capacity. Homebrewers remained active globally, pushing export sales of DIY beer up by 31 per cent while domestic sales moderated after the strong sales last year.

Profit-before-tax for 2020-21 was $36.5m, compared with $34.3m the previous year, with lower operational and external expenses having an impact on the bottom line.

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.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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