A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan has secured the long-term future of Black Sheep Brewery, the company has reported.

Black Sheep Tankard

It secured £3.1m through the schem, but also reported trading which exceeded expectations.

Chairman Andrew Slee explained that Black Sheep went into lockdown with four objectives:

  • To preserve cash
  • To support off-trade customers and find new ways of reaching loyal customers
  • To continue progress on packaging line development
  • To devise a plan to react to a post-lockdown world

Development of the packaging line did, indeed, continue, and there was a boost for sales — up 35%in supermarkets — with the availability of mini-kegs.

On a minus note, Black Sheep was unable to conclude the purchase of a small group of pubs. For the time being, the aim to grow this side of the business is on hold.

Chief executive, Charlene Lyons, said: “We have made huge progress with operational and process changes that have yielded incredibly positive results.

“As much as covid has been a real negative, it has allowed the executive team to make changes, redefine focus, and implement decisions that would have ordinarily taken much longer to execute.”

The loss before tax of £1,769841 compares to a profit before tax of £13,959 in 2019.

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