BrewDog reports £24m operating loss

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Swings & roundabouts: "Record breaking" revenues for BrewDog despite £34m loss
Swings & roundabouts: "Record breaking" revenues for BrewDog despite £34m loss

Related tags Brewdog Finance Pubco + head office Beer

BrewDog has reported an operating loss of £24m in its latest trading update, but its founder retains “unshakeable confidence” in the Scottish brewery.

The Scottish brewer reported “record-breaking” revenues of £320m in 2022, up 13% from 2021 in a UK beer market which was down 12%.

However, there was also the multi-million-pound operating loss paired with the adjusted EBITDA of £600,000, which BrewDog founder James Watt attributes to the cost of investing in the brand, its people and its bars, alongside the “devastating” increase in input costs.

Q1 2023 sales were up 20% versus 2022, and BrewDog was ranked the world’s 14th​ most valuable beer brand by Brand Finance, overtaking Carlsberg for the first time.

BrewDog​ is the only UK beer brand ranked in the top 50, and has five of the Top 30 fastest growing beer brands in the UK, including Lost Lager, which is also the UK’s fastest growing craft beer brand.

The brewery also launched BrewDog Blueprint, setting out new crew rewards with 5% of the company being issued in shares to crew members, directly from Watt’s personal shareholding.

Tackling challenges

It also completed the construction a new £12m on-site bio-energy plant in Ellon, now in ramp up phase, and achieved Positive Planet Carbon Negative accreditation.

More than 500,000 trees are now planted in the BrewDog Lost Forest, and new locations have opened in Waterloo​ and Las Vegas.

Watt said: “We are very proud of what we have built and achieved in 2022 but at the same time the year was certainly not without its challenges.

“While we were positive (just!) from an adjusted profitability perspective, underlying profitability was not quite where we want it to be.

“We faced huge cost price pressures, soaring inflation and an unprecedented hike in energy bills across our business – all of these factors impacted profitability in 2022.”

Beer, people, planet

The brewery’s energy bills increased threefold during 2022, with prices hikes affecting nearly every element of the supply chain. The cost of producing Punk IPA, for instance, rose by 34% year-on-year.

Watt said being named on The Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2023 list was a “huge development” for the company, which faced allegations of a toxic and abusive workplace culture​ in 2022.

He continued: “We remain laser focussed on our three foundational pillars: beer, people and planet.

“We are on a mission to elevate the status of beer in as many people’s lives as possible while being the best employer we possibly can be and whilst doing all we can to help save our home planet.
“We have such a bright future ahead of us, and one that we will continue to back and invest in today, to ensure we realise it tomorrow.”

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