Coopers Brewery continues strong growth

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Coopers Brewery chalked up its 24th consecutive year of growth in beer volumes in 2016-17, with sales rising 2.9 per cent to a record 83.8 million litres.

In releasing the company’s annual results, Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper said Coopers now held almost 5 per cent market share in the national beer market where industry figures showed a decline in sales volume of 1.9 per cent during 2016-17.

“This marks 24 consecutive years of growth in beer volumes for a compound annual growth rate of 8.9 per cent,” he said.

“Turnover for 2016-17 rose to $252.4 million compared with $245.9 million from the previous year.

“Profit before tax of $33.4 million was down 3.5 per cent from $34.6 million in 2015-16, a result impacted by the final write-down of the goodwill and brand names of Mr Beer (USA), overhead costs associated with the construction of the new maltings plant and redundancy costs arising from a restructure as we reallocate resources to our growing interstate markets.”

Fully franked dividends totalling $12.50 a share were paid, steady from the previous year.

Dr Cooper said the new $65 million maltings plant, which will be officially opened at Regency Park on November 30, will immediately start to contribute to earnings, with a view to achieving full utilisation of the facility over the next two financial years.

“The maltings will be able to produce about 54,000 tonnes of malt a year, of which Coopers will use a little over 17,000 tonnes,” he said.

“The rest will be available for sale and Coopers already has signed contracts with customers in Australia and Asia.”

Dr Cooper said sales growth during the year had been built on improved packaged beer sales.

New South Wales led this growth with sales up 6.9 per cent, Queensland up 5.5 per cent, Victoria up 3.5 per cent and Western Australia up 1.8 per cent. Sales in South Australia fell slightly.

“NSW is our strongest market, representing 27 per cent of total sales, compared with 22.9 per cent for our home state of South Australia, 18.7 per cent for Victoria and 16.2 per cent for Queensland,” he said.