Adnams saw sales increase 3% to £66.3m in the 12 months to 31st December, the brewer, pub operator, and distiller reports today.

Adnams rebrand

The company said while multiple factors had continued to challenge brewing and hospitality throughout the year, it was pleased to report the sales increase. This is its third consecutive year of growth following the pandemic, which it said demonstrated the resilience of its business and brand.

Positive contributions had been made by every part of its business, particularly in the second half of the year when its off-trade business outperformed the market. 

Off-trade sales increased 14% year on year, supported by new national listings with several major retailers, wholesalers, and pub companies. Ghost Ship 0.5% — now the UK’s number one low- or no-alcohol pale ale — was its best performer, with volume and value growth of 12.4% and 15.6% respectively in the same period.

The company said its full year loss had widened to £4m due to the aggregate impact of cost increases, including interest, adding that falling inflation had eased some costs in the current year. It said this, together with the full-year impact of previously announced cost reduction measures and continued disciplined cost management, would support its profit improvement plans for the current year.  

In April this year, Adnams reported positive first quarter trading for the three months ending 31st March, with total sales up 11% year on year. There was a notably strong contribution from its on-trade business and contract distilling in its spirits business, which it said showed continued forward momentum.

“As we continue to pursue our strategy, it’s important that we leverage our distinctive strengths — as a heritage-rich, innovative company — to their fullest,” Andy Wood, chief executive at Adnams plc, who steps down from his role at the end of June to be replaced by Jenny Hanlon. “The Adnams brand continues to hold significant equity and is championed and cherished by its customers.

“The coming months will see the company undergo further change as it is positioned for further growth. This change is likely to result in a simplified operating model that encompasses the things the business does well, whilst reducing its borrowings, susceptibility to economic shocks, and building greater resilience.”

The company confirmed that it is continuing to explore a range of options to fund its future growth plans with the support of its advisors, and has received an encouraging response to the process. The board’s preferred option remains the raising of additional capital from another party and/or the sale of freehold assets to return capital to the company. However, no decision has yet been taken.

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