The Boston Beer Company has reported a 22.3% increase in earnings per share for the full year, the company said yesterday, as net revenues increased 4.5% and volumes jumped 6%.

The result was achieved despite a fall in the fourth quarter net income to US$2.8m, down 21.4% from last year primarily due to increased advertising, promotions and selling expense.
Net income for the full year was $12.5 million, an 18.4% increase over 2003.
"We were delighted with 4.6% depletion growth in the fourth quarter as we increased our brand support spending" said Jim Koch chairman and founder.

"While pleased with our revenue and earnings performance for the full year and our strong fourth quarter sales performance, we believe that we can do better. We will introduce new brand communications very soon that we think will capitalize on the roots and essence of Samuel Adams' success. We are excited by this new campaign."

The company currently expects earnings per share for the full year 2005 to be between $0.94 to $1.00, based on current plans and market trends.

"The company expects earnings per share growth to be driven by continued volume increases and price increases of approximately 2.0% planned for the first quarter, offset somewhat by increases in brand support in advertising, promotional and selling expenses," a statement said.

Martin Roper, Boston Beer President and CEO said: "We believe the Samuel Adams brand is stronger, as demonstrated by the level of growth in the fourth quarter. However, on-premise trends were not as strong as off-premise in the second half of the year, and we are evaluating the cause and potential solutions. We are currently finalizing the strategy and communicating plans behind our new brand message. We are encouraged by the initial quantitative testing of the television commercials which indicates that this campaign is even stronger than our current work, and we will be evaluating its performance in market to determine appropriate investment levels. As a result, our full year projections of brand investment may change depending on campaign performance."