Boston Beer Up in Third Qtr.

After a bumpy year, depletions up 6% in third quarter

The Boston Beer Company reported a third quarter core product depletions increase of 6% as compared to the third quarter of 2008 with net revenue up 8% for the same period.

Jim Koch, Chairman and Founder of the Company, commented, “Our 6% depletions growth in the third quarter exceeded our expectations. We believe that these results continued the improved trends that we began to see towards the end of the second quarter. While trends have improved, we continue to face increased competition from expanded distribution of domestic specialty brands and regional craft brands. We are happy with our sales execution, our brand strength and our position within the craft category and remain positive about the future of craft beer and our potential for future growth.”

The company also noted in their press release that gross margins for the company improved to 54% for the quarter and 51% year to date, but remain significantly lower than the gross margins realized prior to 2006, due to the significant brewery operating, packaging and ingredient cost increases experienced since then, which have not been fully offset with pricing.

In year to date results, core shipment volume for the nine month period ended September 26, 2009 was 1.5 million barrels, which was flat compared to the same period in 2008.

Boston Beer also noted that shipments and orders in-hand suggest that core shipments year-to-date through December 2009 will be up approximately 1% compared to the same period in 2008.