BrewDog’s online sales growth fails to offset bar closures

By Dominic Allport

- Last updated on GMT

'Captain's update': James Watt, BrewDog’s co-founder, highlighted growth in revenue during 2020 as being 'the most significant achievement in our history'
'Captain's update': James Watt, BrewDog’s co-founder, highlighted growth in revenue during 2020 as being 'the most significant achievement in our history'

Related tags: Brewdog, Scotland, Finance, Coronavirus, Beer

BrewDog has reported a pre-tax loss of £13.1m during 2020 despite achieving 10% revenue growth during 2020. The strong growth in online sales was not enough to offset the impact of bar closures.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser's​ sister title MCA Insight​, online sales of craft beer rose by 900% during 2020, reaching 750,000 orders, while grocery and impulse was up 66%, though this was not enough to offset the impact of Covid lockdowns and the closure of hospitality. 

James Watt, BrewDog’s co-founder, highlighted growth in revenue during 2020 as being “the most significant achievement in our history.”

The majority of BrewDog’s 100 bars - not all of them in the UK - were closed for much of the year. These were budgeted to have accounted for 40% of revenue.

In his ‘Captain’s Update’ Watt reported on several areas of the business. He listed record brand awareness, as well as the company’s focus on sustainability by “becoming the world’s first and only carbon negative brewery.”

During the first few weeks of the pandemic BrewDog’s Aberdeenshire distillery produced 12,000 bottles of hand sanitiser for the NHS.

Watt also mentions BrewDog’s focus on opening 30 new ‘retail’ locations, both in the UK and abroad, including a hotel in Manchester.

The annual report comes after BrewDog apologised to former employees who accused Watt and the company in an open letter of fostering a “culture of fear”.

Watt said the firm had launched an independent review of the culture within BrewDog and had sent out an anonymous staff survey, as well as committed to creating an employee representative group.

Related topics: MA Leaders Club

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