Strong final quarter for Founders First

Founders First CEO, Mark Haysman

Founders First has topped a highly acquisitive year with a strong quarter despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Results posted to the ASX show revenue in the final quarter of the year from customer sales grew to $2.7 million and the craft accelerator received $1.1 million in government support to help it through.

Founders First said that wholesale quarterly revenue for majority owned entities grew 262 per cent, and its total portfolio grew 112 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2019, as well as securing 42 new on and off premise accounts on the east coast as part of the Indy Fast Start Program. It also doubled the amount of stores nationally that stock its beer.

Overall it made a loss of $611,000 for its operative activities in the quarter, which was an improvement on the $2 million loss in the previous period.

Investing activities slowed during the quarter as the business integrated recent acquisitions. It spent $2.6 million on business, property, IP and other acquisition payments during the period, half that of the quarter before.

Its cash position at the end of the three months was strong, coming in at $11.4 million following a major fundraise when it made its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange at the end of last year.

Looking ahead , its Hunter Valley and Kangaroo Island additions are expected to add $6 million to the business in the next full year with plans to make both tourist destinations, and the latter branded as a Foghorn Brewery.

It said that venues are reopening at varying rates and the only venue which remains closed is Jetty Road, given the ongoing restrictions in Victoria. FF said this was likely to continue for the foreseeable future and it said JR will focus on manufacturing wholesale products.

Venues in other states are operating between 60-80 per cent of pre-COVID-19 volumes.

Chief executive officer Mark Haysman said that while COVID-19 had been a difficult time for the industry, it played to the strengths of craft in some respects.

“A lot of craft is stronger in off premise and people are drinking more in their home, so that’s helping us with channel shift. The brands have stood up really well and different businesses within the family have united in this quarter and that’s showing through,” he told Brews News.

“I’m particularly proud of the team in what’s been a difficult quarter to deliver such terrific results and set up the platform for 2021.”

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