Artisanal Spirits Company shares tank on sales warning
Shares in The Artisanal Spirits Company (ASC) plummeted on Friday after the whisky retailer warned that full-year revenues would miss market estimates after weaker-than-expected sales in China and an underwhelming product launch.
The company, which owns The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), said 2023 sales will be around £23m, up from £21.8m the year before but below the £25m currently expected by analysts.
Shares were down 18.7% at 46.75p by 0917 GMT.
Revenue growth accelerated from 3% in the first half, but second-half growth failed to meet the ambitious 25% target due to weak sales in China in the fourth quarter and poor sales from its brand-new 50th anniversary member cask sales programme launched at the end of November.
ASC, which said that the SMWS has now surpassed 40,000 members, said adjusted EBITDA would be "around breakeven" for the year, compared with earnings of £0.4m in 2022.
Chief executive Andrew Dane called the fourth-quarter performance "disappointing" but said the remained of the business performed well and in line with expectations.
"Our model is robust, throughout FY23 we have ensured that we have the right cost base for the business, we are well financed and we remain confident of future profitable growth," he said.