Berry Bros & Rudd sales reach highest point in almost a decade

Berry Bros & Rudd has seen sales soar to the highest levels in almost ten years.

The premium wine merchant has reported turnover grew 31.4% to £223 million in the year ending March 31, 2019.

Pre-tax profits dropped by 98.4% compared to the previous year, but this is because the 2018 profits surged following the sale of BB&R Spirits, including The Glenrothes (bought by Edrington) and Anchor Brewing (brought by Sapporo).

Operating profits for the year grew 210.2% to £1.7 million.

In a statement the company said: “As a group we have hit the highest sales since 2010 reaching £223,188,000 seeing the impact of both strong underlying Berry Bros & Rudd sales growth, coupled with last year’s successful investment into Hotaling & Co, our San Francisco-based spirits company. This performance has been achieved within the context of a challenging economic and political environment, and a competitive market.

“Within Berry Bros & Rudd, turnover during the year amounted to £184,688,000, compared to £178,405,000 in 2018, which is 3.5% ahead of last year before the accounting adjustment for En Primeur sales. Statutory turnover after the adjustment for En Primeur sales exceeded last year by 16.8%.

“As a group, net operating profit after the adjustment for En Primeur was £1,758,000, which is 210.2% ahead of last year. In 2018 we recorded a loss of £1,595,000.

“Our focus through the year has been on redefining our core operation and re-centring our attention on the customer – be that private customer, investor or trade. Furthermore, In the UK we have used this year to begin to actively improve our working capital cycle, particularly in light of an uncertain Brexit.”

The company also noted its shop at 62-63 Pall Mall is now almost two years old and has seen 24% growth over the period.

It said: “In addition to enhancing the retail experience for our customers, the shop has hosted circa 70 supplier tastings and events throughout the year.

“Events and education has grown 4% this year, as we now welcome an average 25,000 guests through the door each year at Berry Bros & Rudd’s home, No.3 St James’s Street.”

The company also said it continues to see “real Benefits” from the modernisation of its operations and systems. It said improved working capital practices, cost control and resulting cash generation continues to be a focus for us, as it strives to be a “sustainably profitable business whilst balancing the needs of our suppliers and customers”.

In January 2019 Dan Jago left his position as chief executive officer at the company, and Lizzy Rudd is now running the business.

Emily Rae has recently been appointed finance director following the departure of chief financial officer Chris Robinson, who stepped down from the role in August 2019.

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