Lark has reported net sales of $10.4m in the first half of its financial year, up 78 per cent on the same period last year, and consistent with the sales growth the company reported in the first quarter this year.

The growth comes despite the supply chain constraints which “heavily impacted” the business as well as Lark’s shift in sales mix from its own hospitality venues into the lower margin national accounts business.

Managing Director, Geoff Bainbridge, said: “In the face of a series of sustained Covid disruptions to all aspects of our business in all parts of the country, the achievement of 78 per cent sales growth YOY in the first half is an outstanding result and testament to the brand activations aligned to our vision of being the world’s most innovative distiller.

“Despite the Covid interruptions to our sales momentum we continue to laydown world class whisky that will power the company’s growth for years to come. With the addition of the Shene inventory in the second half the company expects to close F22 with over two million litres under maturation at a whisky market value of in excess of $430m.”

The second half of the year will also see Lark look to increase brand awareness and trial with a series of activations to celebrate its 30-year anniversary. In addition, while the company is looking to increase its presence in national key accounts its hospitality venues did deliver strong growth in the weeks following the easing of border restrictions in Tasmania on 15 December. This included 100 per cent week on week sales increase at the cellar door and a record sales performance in the final weeks of 2021.

Unfortunately the Omicron wave, which has impacted so much of the industry, also impacted the Lark hospitality venues with the company saying they have experienced declines in foot traffic and staff availability in line with the industry trend.

However, Lark said it is well positioned to grow its hospitality revenue in future periods subject to the impacts of Omicron on hospitality venues reducing.

Looking forward the company said it has also started an extensive search for either a COO, or ultimately a CEO, who will have a very clear requirement to take the lead on developing and executing an export sales strategy as well as recruiting agents, distributors and direct employees around the world. There will be an immediate focus on China, South-East Asia, the Middle East and selected parts of North America for the new chief.

Lark said its Board remains on track to make further announcements about this appointment before the end of the financial year.

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.

Leave a comment

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