Germany's Bitburger Brewery Group has reported 15% year-on-year growth in turnover to €729 million in its financial year 2022, with group sales up 11%.
The group noted that it made 'significant gains' in both retail and gastronomy in this period.
Jan Niewodniczanski, managing director of the Bitburger Brewery Group said, “We are back on the road to success. After two very difficult pandemic years for us, with lockdowns at our gastronomy partners that sometimes lasted months, we were able to prove our clout and brand strength in all relevant sales channels again last year."
The family-owned business said it saw growth well above the industry average in this period.
It attributed its performance to its sustainable purchasing strategy, which helped the brewer achieve its economic goals for 2022 despite the exponential cost and price increases for energy and raw materials.
"This successful race to catch up gives us great confidence for the current year, although we all know, of course, that we will also be accompanied by enormous cost increases in 2023," CFO Markus Spanier stated.
He added, "In the last year, we were confronted with unprecedented price increases in the entire industry and the long-term security and availability of the required raw materials were also a central issue for everyone."
The brewer witnessed sales growth of 74% in the food service sector in its 2022 financial year.
The company achieved around 80% of pre-COVID-19 sales with its entire brand portfolio in this segment.
"For the current year, we expect to approach the pre-Corona level significantly," Niewodniczanski added.
The Bitburger brand saw a double-digit increase in sales of more than 14% and expanded its market leadership in the alcohol-free category with the launch of Bitburger 0.0% Herb Pils alcohol-free.
The Benediktiner Weissbräu brand continued to build on its success achieving sales growth of over 34%.
The König Pilsener brand also developed significantly better than the market (sales up 19%, while Licher proved to be the strongest Hessian brand in retail last year (sales up 15%).
Köstritzer achieved a sales growth of 12%, with Köstritzer Edel Pils as the fastest growing Pils brand in East Germany.
The company saw sales growth of 12% in its foreign business, despite shutting down its Russian business shortly after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The USA is now the most important export market for the brewing group's brands, it added.
The newly founded Bitburger Digital, based in Düsseldorf, saw sales up 41% during the financial year.
"As far as the development of our brands and the expansion of our market position are concerned, we are very optimistic that we will achieve our goals," said Niewodniczanski.
However, Spanier cautioned that "as a company and as an industry, we once again have the challenge of ensuring the long-term availability of the required raw materials and mastering the very high cost increases while promoting investments in sustainable energy concepts that are self-sufficient from fossil fuels."
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest drinks news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.