Rye River Brewing Company returns to operating profitability following significant export expansion in 2018

Rye River Brewing Company returns to operating profitability following significant export expansion in 2018

Ireland’s fastest growing independent Craft Beer Brewery doubles export sales to €2.8m with further growth expected in European markets

Kildare-based brewery employs 47 in Celbridge

Ireland’s fastest growing and most decorated independent Craft Beer Brewery, Rye River Brewing Company, which produces beers under the flagship brand McGargles, as well as supplying internationally regarded and award-winning private and exclusive craft beers, The Crafty Brewing Company, Solas and Grafters, returned to operating profitability in 2018. This follows refocusing the business on brewing its own portfolio of beers and development of export markets for its range of premium Irish-brewed craft beers.

During the 2018 financial year Rye River Brewing Company more than doubled its sales across Europe from €1.3m in 2017 to over €2.7m and the growth of its exports continues into 2019 with expansion beyond the current 25 export markets it currently serves.

EBITDA of €782,667 was recorded in 2018, an increase of 27% year-on-year. As the business continued its exit from third-party agency brand contracts, overall sales in the Republic of Ireland fell by 5.5%. However, with a strategic focus on the domestic, European and international markets, Rye River Brewing sales of own-produced beers grew by 34% in 2018, strengthening its position as the most influential producer and exporter within the highly competitive Irish Craft beer retail landscape. This strong result comes on the back of 45% own-produced sales growth in 2017.

The export focus contributed to a return to operating profit of €85,317 for the financial year ended 31st December 2018, signifying real progress following the company’s business transformation in recent years. The loss for the 2018 financial year after taxation amounted to €194,201 after charging interest payable of €461,284 (2017: loss of €797,313).

As part of Rye River Brewing Company’s ongoing investment programme, 2018 saw further investment in its brewing capacity and capability to serve its growing sales demand with capital expenditure amounting to €634,710 in 2018 (2017 €264,074) including the addition of three new fermentation vessels and two new bright beer tanks. On current trading projections, the company expects to deliver a net profit in 2019 and is on track to deliver its five-year strategic growth plan by the end of 2023.

Speaking about the Company’s performance, Tom Cronin, Founder and Managing Director of Rye River Brewing, commented: “2018 saw further progress in implementing our strategic plan to focus on becoming an exclusive Craft Beer producer with no agency brands and allowing our brewing capacity to be totally dedicated to our own portfolio of beers. This approach has seen us return to operating profit last year on the back of strong export growth of our premium Irish Craft Beer product to leading retail partners. The outlook remains strong for Rye River Brewing as demand for quality Irish Craft Beer increases and our ability to grow our export markets continues apace.”

During 2018 the company also received international critical acclaim for its range of beers by winning an unprecedented 19 World Beer Awards (WBAs), officially making Rye River Brewing “Europe's most decorated brewery” at the 2018 WBAs. In the past two years Rye River Brewing has won five Best in Class Awards at the WBAs – meaning that Rye River Brewing now produces five of the best beers in the world within their specific profile range, a feat achieved by no other independent Irish Craft beer company and differentiating Rye River Brewing as the leading and most influential craft beer brewery in Ireland.

In recent weeks the Company’s Founder and Managing Director, Tom Cronin, has being shortlisted as one of the finalists In the Emerging category of the 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland programme. As part of the programme Tom is currently participating in the CEO Retreat to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Macau to showcase the opportunities in the Asian markets. The finalists will compete across three categories - Emerging, Industry and International, with one winner being named The EY Entrepreneur of The Year™ 2019.


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