Malt Whisky Society Owner ASC In Revenue Rise

Edinburgh-based Artisanal Spirits Company plc (ASC), owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), published a trading update for the six months ended June 30, 2023, showing revenue performance of just over £10 million in the first half.

This was achieved following 7% growth in the second quarter after a relatively flat Q1.

The £10 million revenue compared to £9.9 million in the first half of the prior year, which represented significant growth on 2021 of 25%.

“May and June on-line trading in the UK and China was softer than expected, however, Q2-23 in China showed positive momentum with revenue up more than 50% on Q1-23 and membership growth of 8% year on year,” said Artisanal Spirits.

“In line with our strategy, we further balanced our cask spirit holding to take advantage of opportunities (including swaps and brokerage) to acquire old and rare spirits (including a recent transaction at the end of H1-23) and realise value from our existing stocks …

We remain on track to deliver growth in line with full year expectations.”

Artisanal Spirits considers that current consensus market expectations for the year ending December 31, 2023, are revenue of £25.2 million (2022:  £21.8m) and EBITDA of £1.1 million (2022: Adjusted EBITDA £400,000.)

Artisanal Spirits Company CEO Andrew Dane said: “The first half of the year was another period of strategic delivery with improved sales and membership growth.

“Following a relatively flat start to the year, momentum has increased in Q2 with strong trading across Europe, continued recovery in China and a record performance at our UK Venues.

“SMWS membership, a key indicator of future sales growth, has increased to over 38,700, reflecting the enduring appeal and growing demand for our uniquely curated premium whiskies.

“We continue to expand our global footprint and capture increasing demand from enthusiasts in high-growth regions such as South-East Asia.

“This includes the upcoming launch of a new subsidiary in Taiwan, the world’s third largest market for Ultra-Premium Scotch Whisky.

“We are well positioned to deliver further growth from our diversified end-markets and ultra-premium positioning.

“With increasing commercial momentum and the flexibility of our model to extract value from our extensive stock-in-cask, we are confident in delivering full year expectations.”