Teeling Whiskey recorded a 71 per cent increase in its profit in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic closing down most of its major markets for large parts of the year.
Accounts just filed for Teeling Whiskey Company Ltd show that its pretax profit rose to just under €2.8 million last year, up from €1.6 million in 2019. This was due to a sharp reduction in its advertising and promotional spending in the United States.
Its cost of sales reduced by €1 million to €5.8 million, while its administrative expenses reduced to €6.2 million from €9.9 million.
Turnover declined by 20 per cent to €14.6 million. In Ireland, sales declined to just more than €2 million from €5.1 million in 2019. Revenue from Europe was down 8 per cent to €4.4 million and by just 1.6 per cent to €8.2 million for the rest of the world.
Established in 2012 as a maker of premium whiskey, Teeling’s major shareholders are brothers Jack and Stephen Teeling, while global spirits group Bacardi has a minority stake in the business.
Jack Teeling described last year as “challenging”, requiring “resilience and adaptability” from the company.
“We tried to focus on getting [retail] listings in places where people could buy,” he said. “It has provided us with a strong springboard into 2021 and we’re forecasting to be up about 30 per cent in terms of bottle sales on 2019, which was our record year.”
Mr Teeling said the company last year added about €1 million worth of sales in China, while emerging markets such as Nigeria performed well and Australia was “very strong”, with new retail listings added.
He said sales have rebounded strongly this year and he is forecasting sales of about 1.2 million bottles of whiskey, with the company spending $6.5 million (€5.5 million) in the US to promote its products, jointly funded by Bacardi.
Staff numbers reduced in 2020 from 88 to 63 with salary costs declining by €1.4 million. The company claimed €81,318 in wage subsidies from the State for the subsidiary that operates its visitor centre, which posted a loss for the year of €408,460.