Bottled beers boost Shepherd Neame

Bottled beers boost Shepherd Neame

Strong demand for bottled beer and imports such as Asahi Super Dry have helped Shepherd Neame to outperform the tough UK beer market in the last year.

Shepherd Neame reported net sales of GBP115.3m (US$182.6m) for the 12 months to 26 June, up by 5% on the previous year. Beer volume sales also rose by 5% for the year, outperforming a UK market that declined in low single digits during the same period.

Star performers were import brands, such as Asahi Super Dry, as well as bottled beer, which saw volumes rise by almost 12% and accounted for 44% of the firm's total volume sales. The FIFA World Cup boosted retail beer sales towards the end of the year, the Spitfire and Bishops Finger brewer added.

Operating profits also rose strongly over the year, to GBP11.4m from GBP7.8m a year earlier, partly thanks to the greater efficiency afforded by a new bottling line. One-off gains also meant that the brewer's net profits rose to GBP6.3m from GBP5.7m. Without exceptional items, profits for the year were GBP5m.

In its outlook, Shepherd Neame said that volume sales had continued to rise for the first nine weeks of its new year.  

The group warned that UK on-trade was set to remain tough. "Overall rates of decline in the on trade are easing but we expect them to continue to be negative next year, particularly with the anticipated squeeze on consumer expenditure," it said.