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Profits at Cooley Distillery fell by 37% last year

Profits at Cooley Distillery fell by 37% last year

Cooley Distillery saw its pre-tax profits plunge by 37% to €8.5 million last year, according to the firm’s latest accounts.

New accounts show revenue at the whiskey distillery also declined, falling almost 12pc to €34.4m.

Its profitability was also hurt by an increase in distribution and administration costs, the accounts show. They rose to €11.1m last year from €8.2m in 2017.

According to a report in today’s Irish Independent, the directors at Cooley noted in the most recent accounts that the principal corporate risk for the business would be any downturn in consumer spending in its primary American and European markets.

“American and European consumers have endured several years of average earnings growth falling below the rate of inflation and this might be expected to result in continued pressure on gross margin,” the directors said.

“While Brexit and trade tariffs bring economic uncertainty, the geographic spread of the company’s sales mean that, in the opinion of the directors, both pose a relatively low risk to the business at this moment in time.”

Cooley Distillery generated €12.3m of its turnover last year in Ireland, with the rest of the world accounting for just over €22m.

Apart from producing branded whiskey, Cooley also manufactures own-label products for customers such as supermarket chains in the UK and elsewhere.

Cooley Distillery, based in Riverstown, was sold by John Teeling to US firm Beam in 2011 for €71 million. Beam was subsequently acquired by Japan’s Suntory Holdings in 2014.