Plenty of WA support for Coopers' brews


WA beer drinkers are liking the additions to the Coopers brewery stable.

Sales of the Adelaide-based operation’s wares on the west coast jumped by 3% over the past year.

The State has become a strong market for Coopers with Sandgropers relishing the stronger push into cans, particularly with the Original Pale Ale.

There has also been a strong backing for the XPA although the purple cans’ figures aren’t included the latest report as the vessels were only released in August.

The increase in WA sales is a significant achievement in Coopers considering the spike in local breweries across the State. There are now 80 recognised beer producers from Broome to Esperance.

Overall, Coopers sales increased 2 per cent nationally with the company now producing just shy of 77 million litres of beer a year.

The lift follows a 9% slump in sales over the 2017-18 year so the turnaround is significant and a sign its new products and change in marketing is having an effect.

Apart from the push of Pale Ale into cans, Coopers also released Coopers Dry to replace Coopers Clear. And Session Ale had also had an impact on the brand.

Across Australia, Queensland led the way with sales volumes rising by 6.1%. In Western Australia sales rose by 3.1%, Victoria by 2.9% and South Australia by 2%. Sales in NSW were steady.

Malt sales for the year rose by 132% to 44,300 tonnes, although this came from a low base.

“The maltings is now running close to full capacity, providing significant improvements in malt quality and cost savings on one of our key raw ingredients,” said Managing Director Dr Tim Cooper.

Dr Cooper said that while beer sales volumes had increased, profit before tax had declined to $23.1 million, compared with $34.3 million the previous year.

“The reduced profit was attributable to a changing sales mix, higher barley prices and more competitive market conditions with some segments showing declines in retail pricing,” he said.

“The latter renders difficult our ability to recover higher excise duties and costs arising from the imposition of container deposit schemes.

“Interest and borrowing costs increased by $1.7 million during the year reflecting the debt incurred by the malting project and previous share buybacks.

“Sales of manufactured partner brands also fell 11.4%, partly attributable to the conclusion of Coopers’ agreement with Brooklyn Brewery in December 2018. On the other hand, volumes of our naturally conditioned ales and stout increased by 3.1% to represent 81% of total volume.”

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