Whisky curator progressing | Ocado back in profit
Artisanal Spirits Company
The Artisanal Spirits Company, owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said it had seen strong trading across Europe, continued recovery in China and a record performance at UK venues in the first half.
Revenue for the six months to the end of June came in at just over £10m, with 7% growth in Q2 following a relatively flat Q1 and improvement on the prior year’s £9.9m.
SMWS membership grew 9% year-on-year.
May and June on-line trading in the UK and China was softer than expected, however, Q2-23 in China showed positive momentum with revenue up more than 50% on Q1-23 and membership growth of 8% year on year.
Andrew Dane, CEO, said: “The first half of the year was another period of strategic delivery with improved sales and membership growth. Following a relatively flat start to the year, momentum has increased in Q2 with strong trading across Europe, continued recovery in China and a record performance at our UK Venues.
“SMWS membership, a key indicator of future sales growth, has increased to over 38,700, reflecting the enduring appeal and growing demand for our uniquely curated premium whiskies.
“We continue to expand our global footprint and capture increasing demand from enthusiasts in high-growth regions such as South-East Asia. This includes the upcoming launch of a new subsidiary in Taiwan, the world’s third largest market for Ultra-Premium Scotch Whisky.
“We are well positioned to deliver further growth from our diversified end-markets and ultra-premium positioning. With increasing commercial momentum and the flexibility of our model to extract value from our extensive stock-in-cask, we are confident in delivering full year expectations.”
Online supermarket Ocado held annual guidance after swinging to a core profit in its first half and said its retail earnings would be “marginally positive” for the full year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at £16.6m in the six months to 28 May compared with a loss of £13.6m last time. Half-year revenue rose 9% to £1.4 billion.
But at the statutory level, Ocado’s pretax loss widened to £289.5m from £211.3m, reflecting depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items.
Ocado said there was no change to the financial guidance given at its full year results in February.
Shares in the firm spiked last month on rumours of a possible bid from online giant Amazon.
Housebuilders helped the FTSE 100 strengthen during the session and finishup 47.27 points, or 0.64%, at 7,453.69.
Among the blue chips Taylor Wimpey was the best performer, up 4.75p at 109p. Persimmon was 45p to 1092p. Barratt Developments rose 16p to 424.25p; Berkeley Group was 71p higher at 4089p.
Strong bank earnings lifted the mood on Wall Street with the Nasdaq up 0.8%, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose for a seventh straight session by 1.1% to close at 34,951.93.