Shipments up 5% in fourth quarter and has a fast start to 2010
The Boston Beer Company reported a fourth quarter core product depletions increase of 5% and a core product shipments increase of 5%. Net income for the fourth quarter was $7.5 million, an increase of $3.9 million from the fourth quarter of 2008, primarily as a result of increased core shipments and improved gross margins.
Jim Koch, Chairman and Founder of the Company, commented, “We reported 5% depletions growth in the fourth quarter, bringing depletions growth for the second half of 2009 to 6%, as compared to a decline of 1% in the first half of 2009. We believe that our fourth quarter depletions continued the improved trends that we identified at the end of the second quarter. Looking to 2010, we are excited about the introduction of our new spring seasonal, Samuel Adams Noble Pils, a hoppy pilsner beer brewed with a recipe that calls for all five varieties of Noble hops, which has initially been well received by drinkers, retailers and wholesalers.”
Mr. Koch also noted that, “key highlights of the fourth quarter and year were:
•Depletions grew 5% for the quarter and approximately 3% for the year.
•Our breweries continued to improve the quality, efficiencies, capacity and costs, with significant improvements coming at our Pennsylvania Brewery that we purchased in 2008.
•Gross margin was 52% both for the fourth quarter and the full year.
•We finished the year with $55.5 million in cash and no debt.
•Our current estimate of earnings per diluted share for 2010 is between $2.35 and $2.65.”
Year-to-date depletions reported to the Company through February 2010 increased approximately 9% from the same period in 2009, with one less selling day in 2010. The improvement in depletions trends is primarily due to the launch of Samuel Adams Noble Pils.
Shipments and orders in-hand suggest that core shipments year-to-date through April 2010 will be up approximately 9% compared to the same period in 2009.