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Maiden figures

Artisanal Spirits Co: ‘we are getting used to Brexit pain’

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The group saw a rise in revenue

Scotch Malt Whisky Society owner, the Artisanal Spirits Company, is ‘getting used to the pain’ of Brexit, according to its finance director.

Against the problems British companies have faced trading with the EU, Andrew Dane told Daily Business the company had jumped through all the hoops required.

The company has faced logistical problems but lead times are shrinking.

“We are just getting used to the pain. We now know what to watch out for,” he said.

Managing director David Ridley said the company had a plan A and plan B for dealing with Brexit and stocks had been getting to customers, though it has taken longer.

In its maiden figures following its IPO in June, the company reported gross profit up by 31% to £5.1m (H1 2020: £3.9m), while EBITDA before exceptional costs came in at £0.2m.

There was a loss after tax of £1.1m (H1 2020: loss of £0.7m), a slight improvement on management’s expectations at the time of the IPO.

Revenue increased 20% to £7.9m (H1 2020: £6.6m), slightly ahead of management’s expectations.

Mr Dane said the company would continue to make losses for a couple of years as it invested, but would then see substantial profitability come through.

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In a statement with the results, Mr Ridley 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.”

Mr Ridley told Daily Business the company was at an inflection point where it was ready to invest across the group, particularly in e-commerce, membership and the supply chain.

“We have seen a very strong performance in the US, supported by the lifting of tariffs. We had budgeted on the assumption the tariffs would remain through 2021.”



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