finance

Scotch Malt Whisky Society owner warns of Chinese lockdown hit



The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC), owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, has reported revenue growth in the four months April of above 30% year-on-year.

However, it warned that the Chinese government’s zero tolerance approach to managing Covid-19 has presented “additional challenges for our business” in that territory in the current quarter.

The board still considers that current consensus market expectations for the year ending 31 December 2022 are revenues of £21.6m – up from £18.2m last year.

An update at its latest annual general meeting (AGM) also revealed that global membership growth is now slightly ahead of management expectations, up over 6% during the period and 25% year-on-year, to just over 35,000.

A statement from ASC chair Mark Hunter explained that progress has been made at a new multi-purpose supply chain facility at Masterton Bond.

“Cask racking has now largely been installed, with main contractors appointed and due to commence work this month,” he said. “We continue to anticipate that the site will become fully operational in the second half of the year and be a contributor to improving the already strong margins of the business.”

ASC is based in Edinburgh and is building a portfolio of brands that bring together some of the world’s best spirits producers.

In November, it launched J.G. Thomson & Co – inspired by a wine and spirits merchant from Leith of the same name in the 1700s – which is creating small batch blended malt whiskies, blended grain whiskies, rum and gin.

The launch comes off the back of the company’s stock exchange float in June, with a valuation of £78m.

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