Asahi sales lift boosts Shepherd Neame’s profits

DEMAND for trendy Asahi lager has

helped to drive profit up by a quarter at Shepherd Neame.

The company makes and sells Asahi Superdry under licence for the Japanese brewer and it has been selling well in cities, particularly London.

Asahi volumes were up five per cent overall with draught sales rising more than a third.

Overall pre-tax profits at Neame rose 25 per cent to £8.7m in the year to 26 June with revenues reaching a record £115.4m.

Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “We have seen drinkers in London loving Asahi.
“In the economic downturn people may be not going out as much but when they do they are willing to spend a little extra.

“London is amazingly resilient in the downturn.”

The company, which has brewed in Kent since 1698, is also seeing its traditional ales performing well ?– particularly Spitfire.

Neame said: “The lower priced lagers seemed to have lost out but real ales are doing very well.” The company also brewed a World Cup beer, 4-4-2, which did “pretty well” although England’s early exit meant fewer drinkers went to pubs.