The Boston Beer Company, Inc. has reported increases in second quarter 2004 volume, revenue and earnings. For the 13-week period to 26 June, Boston Beer recorded net sales of US$62.0 m, a 10.1% increase from the second quarter in 2003. Net revenue per barrel increased slightly during the quarter due to price increases of approximately 1.0%, offset by a shift in the package mix. Reported sales volume for the period increased to 363,000 barrels.

Net income for the brewer hit $5.4 m or $0.37 per diluted share for the quarter, compared to US$3.1 m and US$0.20 per diluted share year-on-year.

For the six months to 26 June, Boston Beer saw net sales reach $106.7 m, a 5.0% increase from the same period in 2003, with net revenue per barrel increasing by 0.6%. Reported sales volume for the period increased to 626,000 barrels.

In a statement, Jim Koch, chairman of the company, said: "We continue to be pleased with the Samuel Adams Boston Lager advertising campaign, as we have seen increases of approximately 5% in combined depletions for Lager and Seasonals in the first half of 2004. Sam Adams Light appears to have stabilised, although we will continue to face tough volume comparison through the fourth quarter. We are currently finalising the development of a new television advertising campaign for Sam Adams Light, and we anticipate rolling this campaign out in the second half of 2004 with additional investment on top of our existing campaign."

Martin Roper, Boston Beer president and CEO, said: "Continued health of Lager and Seasonals offset the declines in Light, and generated growth in both sales and depletions year to date. While shipments of core products exceeded depletions year to date by approximately 43,000 barrels, this inventory build at wholesaler appears reasonable for this time of year in support of the summer selling season."

Regarding the company's financial performance and outlook, Roper said: "We are pleased with our overall financial performance in the second quarter of 2004. Our gross margins remain strong through June compared to 2003. During the second quarter, we experienced some cost pressures in packaging materials, utility costs and freight costs. Based on current market pricing conditions and the current cost environment, we expect gross margins for the full year 2004 to approximate 2003. Based on current information, for full year 2004, we expect double-digit earnings growth over 2003. This could be adversely affected if cost pressures or market conditions change."