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Craft Brew Alliance Q1 losses widen on tighter margins

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  • Q1 net loss US$1.2m, up from $0.2m
  • Net sales in three months to end of March fall 5% to $44.6m
  • Total beer shipments slip 8%
  • Gross margin rate down 20bps to 26.8%

Craft Brew Alliance recorded a wider net loss in the first quarter, impacted by tighter margins in its restaurant business and falling sales.

Losses worsened for Craft Brew Alliance in its first quarter

Losses worsened for Craft Brew Alliance in its first quarter

Tough comparisons with last year sent net sales in the three months to the end of March down by 5% to US$44.6m, with total beer shipments falling 8%. However, depletion volumes edged up 1% thanks to continued momentum for flagship brands Kona Longboard Lager, Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen and Omission.

Depletion volumes in the craft brewer’s home markets of Hawaii, Oregon and Washington State were up 8%, the company said.

Beer gross margin rate lifted 50bps to 29.7%, but was more than offset by a 350bps fall for the company’s restaurant gross margin – impacted by bad weather and the revamp of its Koko pub. As a result, net losses came in at $1.2m, up from $0.2m in last year’s first quarter.

Admitting that the trading period was "challenging", CEO Andy Thomas said: "Our first quarter net sales and shipments are in line with our internal plan and put us on track to deliver our full-year guidance of 6% to 8% growth in shipment volume."

Last week, CBA confirmed capital expenditure plans of up to US$21m to expand production in Hawaii and Oregon, and to build a new brewpub.


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