By James Atkinson

Despite recording a first half loss of $80,000, Western Australian brewer Gage Roads is still hopeful of achieving a full-year profit, driven by the continued growth of its brewing under contract for part-owner Woolworths.

Gage Roads CEO John Hoedemaker told TheShout the brewer had a "pretty ordinary" start to 2011-12, with unseasonably low sales to its customers, some of whom still had stock on hand from the previous year.

But as foreshadowed in a progress report last month, he confirmed the company had finished the half on a high.

"We made some record volumes in December, and that basically balanced out the poor performance for the first quarter, so the net result for the half is pretty flat," Hoedemaker said.

Recent articles:
Dan Murphy's next to youth centre rejected
Woolies launches 100 own brand liquor lines in six months
Bar licensee fails to overturn suspension

Gage Roads' total sales volume for the half year was in excess of 490,000 cartons, an increase of 28 per cent over the corresponding first half of 2011.

"Correspondingly, revenue increased 32 per cent to $8.1 million for the half-year ended 31 December 2011," the company said.

Gage Roads said the growth in sales was predominately driven by its ongoing commitment to support the private label strategy of Woolworths, which bought into the company in late 2009.

Demand for Woolies' private label brands including Dry Dock, Clipper Light, and Castaway Cider increased by 14 per cent over the period.

Hoedemaker told TheShout Gage Roads is growing in line with its four-year plan to triple its annual beer production to three million cartons by the end of the 2015 financial year.

"Our partnership with Woolworths is the main driver of growth of sales that we expect to get to that three million cases," he said.

"Both of our companies' vision is to grow that private label beer segment into the future."

Hoedemaker said that after a difficult few years, Gage Roads is "growing and expanding and moving towards profitability".

"Last financial year we made our first ever profit," he said.

"The previous five years were unreasonable losses, but our business has turned around. We see no major hurdles for why our business won't be profitable this full year as well, and why we won't achieve the growth plans we have."

The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *