Beer sales buoy plunging Chapel Down profits

British winemaker Chapel Down saw profits drop by 83% and wine sales by 24% in 2013 with a lacklustre year blamed on a “frustrating” lack of stock.

Chapel_Down3The Kent-based company released its financial results for the years ending December 31 revealing a steep drop in profits, down to £64,000 from £414,000 in 2012.

However year-on-year sales were up 4% due to an increase of 10% to the average priced bottle of Chapel Down Wine and sales of its Curious beer which saw “exceptional” growth with an increase in turnover of 119%.

Commenting on the results, Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down, blamed a the low-yielding harvests of 2011 and 2012 and for the 24% drop in wine sales.

He said: “Our beer sales have helped Chapel Down to keep fizzing. We are also delighted that 2013 gave us a bumper crop (our highest ever) which will enable us to replenish our stocks and gradually fulfil growing demand for our wines.

“Through the prudent management of the limited stock availability in 2013 we were able to retain our valuable customer base and keep the brand supported and widely available to maintain our high profile.”

He added: “We have been frustrated by our lack of stock and it was important therefore that we were successful in raising £4.35m of new funding to accelerate our growth and improve supply.

“Our assets are very strong – our brand and our land in particular continue to appreciate.

“We are also delighted to have welcomed many new shareholders to our register – and the winery – who are enjoying great discounts on our wines and beers and other benefits.

“The business and brands are in good shape and we look forward to developing both more rapidly over the coming years.”

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