Artisanal Spirits Company raises toast to 20% rise in revenue



The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC), the owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, has seen its revenues increase by 20% to £7.9 million in the six months ended 30 June 221.

This is compared to the £6.6m reported in the first half of 2020.

The company highlighted strong international sales growth, particularly in the US with performance boosted by the suspension of US tariffs on imports of single malt Scotch whisky in March 2021.

ASC also pointed to a recovery in UK venue & events sales following phased reopening in the second quarter of the year. Excluding UK venues & events, Group revenue grew by 25%.

Gross profit increased 31% to £5.1m (H1 2020: £3.9m). This resulted from the revenue volume growth, as well as the gross margin improvement to 65% (H1 2020: 59%), which reflected the positive impact of the suspension of US tariffs.

EBITDA before exceptional costs of £0.2m (H1 2020: £0.0m), with planned ongoing investment for growth largely offsetting the increase in gross profit.

The company also reported a loss after tax of £1.1m (H1 2020: loss of £0.7m), which is a slight improvement on management’s expectations at the time of IPO.

The group’s net debt position as at 30 June 2021 improved to £1.9m (31 December 2020: £13.7m) reflecting the proceeds from the IPO.

David Ridley, managing director of the company, said: “Momentum in key international markets continues to build on the back of growing demand for our products and we have seen a strong and sustained recovery in UK venue & events sales since their phased reopening from COVID from mid-May onwards, giving us confidence in meeting market expectations for the full year. While Brexit continues to present some logistical challenges for exports to certain EU markets, we continue to work through them.

“From an operational perspective, we continue to make decisive progress against the strategic objectives outlined at the time of IPO, with ongoing material investment in spirit and cask wood and good progress with our new supply chain facility, standing us in excellent stead for the future.

“We are still at the very beginning of our journey as a listed company, but we have made a bright start. Against a backdrop of favourable market trends, we are optimistic about our ability to realise our growth ambitions to double ASC sales between 2020 and 2024, and we look forward to keeping shareholders updated as we work to deliver long-term value.”



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