Artisanal up 20%, Whisky Society members top 33k

Edinburgh-based Artisanal Spirits Company plc (ASC), owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), said on Thursday it expects to report that 2021 revenue grew 20% to £18 million, comfortably ahead of market expectations.

In a trading update for the financial year ended December 31, 2021, Artisanal reported 15% global membership growth in second half of the year to more than 33,000 at year end.

The company said membership growth is “a leading indicator of future revenue growth.”

Artisanal shares have fallen more than 10% since the firm joined the stock market at £1.12 a share in June 2021.

The shares rose more than 3% to 97p on Thursday to give the firm a current stock market value of around £67 million.

Artisanal’s executive managing director David Ridley said: “2021 was a transformational year for the Artisanal Spirits Company in many ways.

“Sales growth was consistently strong, particularly in the context of ongoing industry-wide pressures as a consequence of Covid-19 and Brexit.

“The exciting step-change in our development created by our admission to trading on AIM in June has given us the strategic focus and access to funds to enable us to take our SMWS member offering to the next level, launching J.G. Thomson and exploring opportunities to expand the group’s portfolio of brands.

“The early fruits of this step-change can be seen in the material acceleration in overall membership growth in the second half.

We have created a special culture at the Artisanal Spirits Company and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teams for their hard work and resilience throughout the year, overcoming challenges, driving us forward and helping us continue to be successful.”