A message from George H. Croft, President & CEO
To Our Shareholders,
We have much to report, and many accomplishments to acknowledge, all of which will hopefully reinforce the decision you’ve made to invest your money in our company.
Profit is the lifeblood of any business and we are proud to report this, our third consecutive year of strong financial performance. Net revenues for Brick Brewing in 2012 increased by $0.4 million in Q4, and $4.0 million by year-end. EBITDA of $0.6 million in Q4 and $3.8 million at year-end were earned despite losing the Ontario Craft Brewers Opportunity Fund.
A rigorous attention to the management of our costs, and the extraordinary daily effort of our entire staff to make our operation as productive as possible, produced tremendous results in the past fiscal year and will be invaluable assets for the growth of our business.
Growth of our beer brands of 11.9% outpaced the industry which declined by 2%. Our beer business is enjoying great momentum having outperformed the industry for the last seven quarters. The Laker family has been our main growth engine through this period and, bolstered by even greater promotional support in this upcoming year, is poised to gain further momentum.
Several important strategies were introduced in 2012 that have produced, and will continue to produce, strong results for the business:
Cost conscious culture
We have established a culture that constantly seeks out opportunities to save the Company money and we plan to deliver $500 thousand in improved operating performance and $500 thousand in procurement related cost savings in fiscal 2013.
Re-establish craft brewing leadership
Brick Brewing was the original Ontario craft brewer. A renewed focus on our premium Waterloo Brewing Co. family of craft beers will take advantage of shifting consumer preferences and strengthen our company’s overall profit position.
Opportunistic volume growth
Significant, focused promotion of Laker beers will continue to make it the best beer news in Ontario for those consumers looking for great value. A transformation of the Seagram trademark we purchased in March of last year reversed significant decline and is now growing versus the prior year in the all-important Ontario market. The growth is driven by extraordinary retail execution and the launch of several great new products including: Seagram 2012, Seagram Cider, Seagram Iced Lemon Tea and Seagram Still Lemonade. And that’s just the beginning.
Our greatest accomplishment, however, is our resilience and unwavering commitment to deliver results. Though the beer market may be experiencing per capita consumption declines, though input cost pressures continue to rise and though we lost funding from the Ontario Craft Brewers Opportunity Fund, we grew the business by earning the purchases and loyalties of more consumers. Those are the results that measure the character of our Company, as much as they contribute to a healthier bottom line.
We’re very proud of this Company and so very enthusiastic about all we have in store for its future. It’s our genuine hope that we only give you more reasons to be proud of the position our Company holds in your portfolio.
George H. Croft
President and CEO, Brick Brewing Co. Limited