Rye River Brewing Company sees domestic performance grow by 21%

Tom Cronin, founder and managing director of Rye River Brewing, says domestic demand for the craft brewer's beers is reaching "an all-time high" 

Brewer records an operating profit of €154,934 for 2019, an uplift of 82% on 2018, and despite a loss of €62,417, says it is on course for a net profit in FY 2020

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26 June 2020 | 0

Ireland’s fastest growing craft beer brewery, Rye River Brewing Company, which produces beers under the flagship brand McGargles, as well as supplying award-winning exclusive craft beers, The Crafty Brewing Company, Grafters, Solas, Rye River and Rye River seasonal, has seen its domestic performance grow by 21% despite stagnant growth in the Irish craft beer industry overall*.

An operating profit of €154,934 was recorded for 2019, an uplift of 82% on 2018, signifying strong progress following the company’s successful business transformation in recent years. Top line sales saw a growth of 8.3% which delivered an EBITDA of €743,345 in 2019, following a strategic focus on the domestic, European and international markets. On current trading projections, the company reports it is on track to double its profit by the end of 2023 in line with its five-year strategic growth plan.

Export growth

During the 2019 financial year, Rye River Brewing Company saw export volume account for 51% of total sales. Rye River Brewing Company finalised and launched its new export brand under the brewery name launching in London and  France as well as winning a national listing with Esselunga in Italy. In total, Rye River Brewing is now exporting beer to 27 markets.

The company currently brews in excess of 30,000 hectolitres annually. In 2019, the brewery continued to invest in its brewing capacity and capabilities, adding three new 10,000L vessels. The brewery now has 21 Fermentation vessels and 6 Bright beer tanks. Future investment plans include the introduction of a canning line in August of this year.

Reduced debt

The company entered a sale and leaseback agreement for its Celbridge premises in March 2020, the €3.3m proceeds of which were used to reduce the organisation’s debt. The related mortgage of €1.3m was settled in the same period.

The loss for the 2019 financial year after taxation amounted to €62,417, after charging interest payable of €333,099 This is an improvement on 2018 when a loss of €194,201 was recorded. However, the company expects to generate a net profit in the 2020 financial year and in the 12-month period to the end of December 2020.

“The outlook remains strong for Rye River Brewing as consumer appetite for quality Irish craft beer increases with domestic demand for all our beers reaching an all-time high,” said Tom Cronin, founder and managing director of Rye River Brewing.

Navigating Covid-19

“While Covid-19 has impacted the business since March 2020,” said Cronin, “our production facilities have remained fully operational and delivered record brewing levels, demonstrating the resilience of our team and our agile production processes ensuring we continue to consistently deliver great beer.”

Despite the challenges associated with Covid-19, he added that a “strong retail domestic performance in the first half of 2020 and reliable supply chain performances have meant that our revenues are still on track to reach our 2020 targets, allowing us to provide job security to our 53 employees, which we intend to grow throughout 2020”.

Certification and awards

The company is aiming to become the first Irish craft beer brewery to achieve the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety Certification. This is a Global Food Safety Initiative recognised certification programme that will support Rye River’s continued expansion internationally.  

During 2019, the company also received international critical acclaim for its range of beers by winning an unprecedented 21 World Beer Awards (WBAs), officially making Rye River Brewing the “World’s most decorated independent craft brewery “at the 2019 WBAs. Since the establishment of the brewery in 2013, Rye River Brewing has achieved an impressive 154 awards. In the last three years Rye River Brewing has won five Best in Class titles at the World Beer Awards.

*(Source: The Craft Beer and Independent Microbreweries in Ireland 2018 report by Bord Bia and the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland found that the craft beer market grew in 2018 by just 0.1% to a total market share of 2.6%)

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