Coopers defies a shrinking beer market

CoopersCoopers Brewery has achieved a 24th straight year of sales growth despite a fall in sales in its home state of South Australia.

The largest Australian owned brewer has a near five per cent share of the Australian beer market, selling 83.8 million litres in 2016/17, up 2.9 per cent from the previous year.

The sales growth comes despite a slide in the country’s beer consumption, with industry sales down 1.9 per cent in 2016/17. Coopers’ sales growth was strongest in NSW, where it now sells more than a quarter of its beer, at 6.9 per cent, followed by 5.5 per cent growth in Queensland, 3.5 per cent in Victoria and 1.8 per cent in Western Australia.

Sales in South Australia, where the company has been based since its establishment in 1862, fell slightly. The company’s pre-tax profit of $33.4 million was down 3.5 per cent from the prior year due to a writedown on its US brewing kit business, Mr Beer, and costs related to a new maltings plant in South Australia, that is due to be opened in November. Managing director Tim Cooper said most of the malt produced at the Regency Park plant will be sold, adding to the company’s earnings.

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