Scotch Malt Whisky Society owner cheers double-digit rise in membership amid 'positive' outlook

Scotch Malt Whisky Society owner Artisanal Spirits Company has cheered a double-digit rise in membership alongside stronger annual sales.

Releasing results for the 12 months to the end of December, the group reported a 21 per cent hike in revenue to £18.2 million, comfortably ahead of market expectations.

Gross profit rose 27 per cent to £11.2m on the back of the revenue growth, as well as a gross margin improvement to 61.5 per cent, from 58.6 per cent a year earlier, which was largely attributable to the long-term suspension of US whisky tariffs.

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There was an underlying loss of £600,000 reported for the year, swinging from a profit of about £600,000 the year before, with planned ongoing investment for growth offsetting the increase in gross profit. Loss after tax amounted to £3.4m, including the impact of almost £1m of exceptional costs relating to last June’s initial public offering, which saw the group join London’s Alternative Investment Market.

The Artisanal Spirits Company is the owner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and a leading curator and provider of premium single cask Scotch malt whisky and other spirits.

Over the year, there was an 18 per cent increase in overall membership - seen as a leading indicator of future revenue growth.

UK membership grew by 20 per cent, with growth in other markets averaging 15 per cent over the year as a whole. There was “exceptionally strong growth” in China, offset by lower levels of growth in Europe.

Since the year end, global membership has further grown to top 34,200, as of the end of February.

Executive managing director David Ridley said: “Following what was an exceptional year for the Artisanal Spirits Company against a challenging backdrop, I am pleased to be able to present such a positive first set of results as a listed business, with strong growth in both sales and member numbers.

“Moving into 2022, we have made an encouraging start to the new financial year, again from both a sales and member growth perspective.

“The outlook is positive, notwithstanding the inherent unpredictability of the pandemic and its effects, giving us confidence in our ability to continue our track record of delivering significant year-on-year growth, while remaining on course to deliver our ambition of doubling sales between 2020 and 2024.”

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Scotch Malt Whisky Society owner cheers growth and US tariff suspension after 'b...

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