Artisanal Spirits Company reports steady progress despite challenges

Artisanal Spirits Company reports steady progress despite challenges

The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC) has reported steady progress in its preliminary results for the fiscal year 2023.

Despite facing economic headwinds, the company achieved an 8% increase in revenue, reaching £23.5 million, along with an adjusted EBITDA profit of £0.1m.

A significant milestone was the acquisition of Single Cask Nation (SCN) in the USA on 4 January 2024. This strategic move enhances ASC’s presence in the American whiskey market. Moreover, SCN’s recognition as Independent Bottler of the Year at the prestigious ‘Icons of Whisky Awards’ in February underscores the quality of its offerings.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), a subsidiary of ASC, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2023. This was marked by surpassing 41,000 members worldwide. Membership growth was particularly strong in the USA, mainland Europe, and new Asian markets. Loyalty and engagement remained robust, with a retention rate of 74%.

ASC launched strategic initiatives like the ‘50th Anniversary Cask Club’ for members and expanded into new markets like Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. It also introduced product innovations such as the ‘Membership and a Bottle’ and ‘Drop and Dram’ subscription options.

Looking ahead, ASC expects to deliver significant profitability improvements in line with market consensus, paving the way for high single-digit EBITDA margins by fiscal year 2026. The positive start to 2024, driven by growth in franchises and cask sales, reinforces this optimistic outlook.

Andrew Dane, CEO of The Artisanal Spirits Company, commented: “Despite the globally challenging economic environment in 2023, the group emerged stronger, more resilient and increasingly well positioned for continued growth.

“I was particularly pleased to see the strong revenue and EBITDA delivery in H2-23 which provides momentum for growing profitability in 2024. This has continued with a positive start to 2024, with revenue performing in line with expectation in the first two months.”

Mr Dane continued: “The core of the group remains the SMWS, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2023, with a unique and exciting range of celebrations and product developments. In January 2024, we were also thrilled to welcome Single Cask Nation (SCN) to the group, alongside SMWS and JGT.

“This acquisition is a strong strategic development and is both complementary and incremental to SMWS in the significant and growing US whisky market. We remain confident in this US market opportunity, with the very strong finish to 2023 for in-market depletions for SMWSA, continuing with double digit growth in early 2024.

“This sits alongside the range of other strategic initiatives which were delivered in 2023. These, together with the revenue growth and impressive membership expansion give us confidence to support further profitable growth in 2024 and beyond.

“I would like to extend my thanks and recognition to all the fantastic employees within ASC for the hard work and commitment displayed during the year – their resilience, innovation and delivery of outstanding experiences for our members continuing to reach new heights.”

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