• Nine-month net profits quadruple on brewery sale, to US$9.4m
  • Net sales rise by 12.7% to $114.3m
  • Operating profits jump by 21.2% to $4.9m
  • Brewer sees no slowdown in US craft beer trend

Craft Brewers Alliance has reiterated its confidence in the continuing rise of craft beer in the US, after reporting rises in nine-month sales and profits.

Net sales for the nine months to the end of September increased by 12.7%, to US$114.3m, Craft Brewers Alliance announced yesterday (14 November). This rise was accompanied by lower sales costs, sending operating profits up by 21.2% on the same period of 2010, to $4.9m. 

Demand for craft beer in the US shows no sign of dimming, despite ongoing problems for the mainstream beer, which is dominated by Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors. Those heavyweight brewers have sought a bigger slice of craft beer success and Craft Brewers Alliance (CBA) saw its nine-month net profits near-enough quadruple, to $9.4m, thanks to a one-off gain from the sale of its Fulton Street 'Goose Island' brewery to A-B InBev. The Budweiser brewer already owns a 32.5% in CBA.

In its outlook, CBA said that it expects net sales to rise by between 11% and 12% in 2011. This level of increase, it forecast, is set to be replicated in 2012, "reflecting both continued strength of our brands and continued growth of the craft category".

Profits, however, will come under pressure next year from rising raw materials costs and an expected stronger marketing spend. Nevertheless, if the one-off gain from the Fulton Street brewery sale is taken out, underlying earnings per share are expected to rise in 2012, versus 2011.

In the third quarter of 2011, CBA reported net sales up by 10% to $40.5m. Lower costs helped operating profits to leap by 391% to $2.18m, with net profits up by 327.4% to $1.23m.

For the company's announcement, click here.