Calgary-based Big Rock Brewery Inc. reported Thursday that its net income rose to $931,000 in 2018 compared to a net loss of just over $1 million in 2017.
President & CEO Wayne Arsenault said in a statement that “significant improvements were made across our business in 2018, resulting in an increase in year-over-year EBITDA by 118 per cent to $4.2 million.”
“As previously announced in the fourth quarter, we closed the amended transaction with Fireweed Brewing Corp. and have since installed the brewing assets purchased as part of the transaction in our Vancouver brewery. We anticipate that the increased capacity and productivity of our Vancouver brewery as result of the production and sale of popular product offerings from Fireweed such as Shaftsbury and several of its Tree Brewing brands will make a strong contribution to our profitability in 2019,” he said.
For the three months ended December 30, 2018, revenue was up by eight per cent from $11.1 million in 2017 to $12.0 million; reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $1.1 million compared to $623,000; operating income was $216,000 compared to an operating income of $33,000; and net loss was reduced to $80,000 from $141,000.
For the year ended December 30, 2018, net revenue rose by five per cent, from $46.6 million in 2017 to $48.7 million; EBITDA was $4.2 million compared to $1.9 million; operating income was $931,000 compared to an operating loss of $1 million.
“Despite competitive pressures in the Canadian beer market place, Big Rock reported significant improvement in its results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 30, 2018, compared to the comparative periods in 2017. The Corporation increased its sales volumes in the fourth quarter of 2018 (versus the same quarter of 2017), by working closely with large volume ordering customers” said Big Rock in a news release.
“The Corporation continues to search for initiatives that will improve its asset utilization at its Calgary, Vancouver and Etobicoke breweries. During the fourth quarter of 2018, the Corporation closed an amended asset purchase and licensing transaction with Fireweed, which allowed the Corporation to expand its brewing capacity in Vancouver, in addition to providing the Corporation with a new revenue stream from the production and sale of Fireweed trademarked products in British Columbia and Alberta.
“The Corporation’s packaged product revenues increased in 2018, particularly in Alberta and British Columbia. These increases were led by volume growth in contract manufacturing and Rock Creek Cider brands, in addition to popular brands such as Pilsner, Midnight Rhapsody and Honey Brown. Additionally, a reduction in the Alberta provincial mark-up for cider volumes helped the growth in cider net revenues in 2018.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary. He writes for Calgary’s Business.