Artisanal revenue up 20% amid whisky tariff boost

Edinburgh-based Artisanal Spirits Company plc, owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), said on Thursday its first-half revenue increased 20% to £7.9 million in the six months ended June 30, 2021.

Artisanal reported strong international sales growth “particularly in the US with performance boosted by the suspension of US tariffs on imports of single malt Scotch whisky in March 2021.”

Artisanal, a curator and provider of premium single cask Scotch malt whisky and other spirits for sale primarily online to a global membership, went public in June.

The firm said first-half gross profit increased 31% to £5.1 million, and loss after tax was £1.1 million, “a slight improvement on management’s expectations at the time of IPO.”

The group’s net debt position improved to £1.9 million from £13.7 million at the end of 2020 “reflecting the proceeds from the IPO.”

Artisanal Spirits Company MD David Ridley said: “Momentum in key international markets continues to build on the back of growing demand for our products and we have seen a strong and sustained recovery in UK venue & events sales since their phased reopening from COVID from mid-May onwards, giving us confidence in meeting market expectations for the full year.

“While Brexit continues to present some logistical challenges for exports to certain EU markets, we continue to work through them.

“From an operational perspective, we continue to make decisive progress against the strategic objectives outlined at the time of IPO, with ongoing material investment in spirit and cask wood and good progress with our new supply chain facility, standing us in excellent stead for the future.

“We are still at the very beginning of our journey as a listed company, but we have made a bright start.

“Against a backdrop of favourable market trends, we are optimistic about our ability to realise our growth ambitions to double ASC sales between 2020 and 2024, and we look forward to keeping shareholders updated as we work to deliver long-term value.”