Loss widens

Whisky curator ASC takes hit from interest charges

Andrew Dane
Andrew Dane: globally challenging environment

Higher interest rate charges and depreciation costs saw whisky curator the Artisanal Spirits Company post a widening loss before tax of £3.6 million in the year to the end of December (2022: £2.1m).

The Edinburgh-based company, which owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said it had faced a £1.1 million rise in interest costs and depreciation of the now fully operational new supply chain facility Masterton Bond.

Revenue grew by 8% to £23.5m in line with guidance in December. Adjusted EBITDA came in at £100,000.

The board of the AIM-quoted company said it remained confident in the ability of the business “to deliver more substantial EBITDA in 2024 and thereafter, in line with consensus forecasts.”

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society marked its 40th anniversary by seeing membership rise 10% to more than 41,000.

“Trading in the early part of 2024 has been positive, with revenue performing in line with expectation,” said the company.

“As a result, expected FY profit delivery remains in line with consensus market expectations, which would represent a significant improvement in profitability and a positive step on the path to high single digit EBITDA margin by FY26.”

Andrew Dane, CEO, 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.”

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