Kegwatch to increase charges

By Tony Halstead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Keg Brewers

Kegwatch: charges going up
Kegwatch: charges going up
Kegwatch is to increase the charge it makes for re-patriating lost beer containers to brewers and other suppliers by £1 from May to help plug a...

Kegwatch is to increase the charge it makes for re-patriating lost beer containers to brewers and other suppliers by £1 from May to help plug a £78,000 hole in its finances.

Charges will rise from £5.50 to £6.50 per container (plus 50p sorting fee) to help offset financial losses suffered by the company.

Kegwatch anticipates a further increase of 50p up to £7 in 2012, but said its charges still mean a cost effective recovery operation and security service for brewers.

The company expects to lose £78,000 this year due

to increased storage area charges, management costs and rising recovery costs.

Income, however, has also been hit through loss of revenue from one of its agents, keg retriever LBM, following the ending of its agreement in 2009. The company says that if its financial projections are correct it will be running at a £10,000 deficit at the end of 2011-12.

Kegwatch director Hector Taylor said the company has launched a three-year plan aimed at putting finances back on track and improving services to brewers and gas cylinder owners.

"We are getting Kegwatch fighting fit to move forward over the next three years to step up cost efficient recovery of lost containers.

"Lost and missing beer kegs and casks is a major problem which is now being exacerbated by the high volume of pub closures.

"Last year alone we visited 901 closed accounts to recover containers. It is not unusual to find as many as 40 kegs and casks abandoned in some cellars," Taylor revealed.

Brewers said they did not believe the increased charges would have an impact on beer prices. "I think we were all aware the increase was on its way," said Julian Grocock, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers. "It's a relatively small price to pay for a service that recovers a significant financial asset."

Oliver Robinson, director of regional brewer Frederic Robinson, said the increase would not affect prices. "Kegwatch do a pretty good job for us. If it wasn't for them, how much more a year would we have to spend? I think the price increase is reasonable bearing in mind there has not been one now for several years," he said.

Kegwatch recovers an average 160,000 containers each year, including discarded gas cylinders.

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