Coopers is expanding thanks to its healthy financial performance

Coopers is expanding thanks to its healthy financial performance

Coopers Brewery is launching a AUD20m (US$21m) capital expansion project this year, including doubling the size of its lager cellar. 

The Adelaide-based company announced today (15 January) that it is installing a AUD16.5m second bottling line and two extra fermenters at its Regency Park brewery as part of the project. Work on the cellar expansion will “begin shortly”, it said, with the bottling line expected to be installed by November.

The new line, which will have a capacity of 1,200 bottles a minute, will be dedicated to the brewer's pale ale, sparkling ale, mild ale and stout beers, which make up more than 70% of production, it said. 

The fermentation and cellar expansion is expected to cost around AUD3.5m. 

The brewer said the move is down to its strong financial performance in 2011-12 and its contract brewing arrangements in Australia with Sapporo and Carlsberg. Coopers signed a ten-year licensing agreement with Sapporo in 2011. It agreed a deal last May with Carlsberg to brew and distribute its namesake beer and Kronenbourg 1664 in the country.

Coopers said in the 12 months to the end of June 2012 sales rose by by 7.6% to a record AUD186.3m. Post-tax profit was up by 18% to an all-time high of AUD27.2m

In calendar year 2012, sales grew by 9.7% to 68.8m litres, boosted by record sales in the last six months of the year, Coopers said.