Theakston brewery returns to profit despite inflationary pressures

Yorkshire brewery T&R Theakston has reported a return to profitability despite a third successive year ‘affected by external events’.

The family-controlled business, which has been brewing beers in Masham for almost 200 years, recorded a pre-tax profit of £18,000 for the year ending December 31, 2022, compared with a £2,000 loss in the previous year.

This return to profitability comes as the business saw turnover increase by 14 per cent to £6.7m in the same period, despite what the report notes as a third successive year ‘affected by external events’.

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The report highlighted that 2022 began with the hangover of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, before further business challenges came following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent inflationary pressures contributing to the current cost of living crisis.

Simon Theakston, joint managing director of T&R Theakston.Simon Theakston, joint managing director of T&R Theakston.
Simon Theakston, joint managing director of T&R Theakston.

Russia’s invasion had a direct impact on the business, which decided to immediately cease all trade with the country, previously its largest export market.

Simon Theakston, joint managing director of T&R Theakston, said: “We’re pleased to report not only our return to profitability, but also that as custodians of the Theakston heritage, we continued to produce the high-quality beers that our customers in both the on and off trade markets have come to expect.

“As a business with almost 200 years of experience, we have seen our share of challenges, from wars to recessions, and most recently a pandemic.

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"Throughout all these times however, we have remained steadfast in our belief that our beer and the British pub as an institution, are about much more than just a pint, they’re about bringing people together and acting as the focal points of the community in both the good times and bad.”

Whilst there has been a lot of industry comment regarding the rising price of beer, the report highlighted that T&R Theakston had worked to minimise increases in order to support its pub customers, who are caught between increased supplier costs, increased running costs of their own and consumers affected by inflationary pressures in the economy.

Looking to the future, the business is optimistic, thanks in part to having changed its sales model “significantly” by broadening its supply routes to the on trade and exploring new opportunities within the wider drinks market.

These include the launch of a number of new ale brands, Theakston Paradise Gold cider, the growth of Spirit of Old Peculier, and the ongoing partnership with Ellers Farm Distillery to create a premium Yorkshire whisky using a wash brewed in the famous Theakston brewery.

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Mr Theakston added: “With a healthy balance sheet and secure financial arrangements, we remain focused on growing our revenue and are excited about some of the upcoming opportunities to forge new partnerships and bring innovative new products to market.

“We have made a good start to the year and, as a result, the board of directors is confident that as trading conditions continue to improve and the economy stabilises, we will see a steady improvement towards pre-pandemic levels of profitability.”