Adnams said multiple challenges were faced by brewing and hospitality industries last year

Adnams has toasted a third successive year of sales growth, but blamed rising costs and interest rates for pushing up pre-tax losses.

The brewer – which earlier this year downplayed speculation it was looking to sell the business – said revenues in the 12 months to 31 December 2023 grew 3%, to £66.3m.

It marks the third year in a row since the pandemic the Suffolk brewer has recorded topline growth, a fact it said demonstrated “the resilience of its business and brand”.

While “multiple factors” troubled both the brewing and hospitality sectors this year, Adnams hailed the performance of its off-trade business, which had “materially outperformed the market” in the second half of the year.

Off-trade sales had increased 14% year on year, supported by “new national listings with several major retailers, wholesalers and pub companies”, Adnams said. It added its Ghost Ship was now “the UK’s number one low or no-alcohol pale ale”, having grown volumes by 12.4%.

However, higher operating costs and “increased borrowing costs” resulted in a full-year loss before tax of £4m, up from £2.3m in 2022. Operating losses, meanwhile, stood at £2.5m, up from £1.2m in the year prior.

Adnams said it was confident that “previously announced cost reduction measures and continued disciplined cost management” would bring losses down in the current year.

“As we continue to pursue our strategy, it’s important that we leverage our distinctive strengths – as a heritage-rich, innovative company – to their fullest,” said Adnams’ outgoing CEO Andy Wood. “The Adnams brand continues to hold significant equity and is championed and cherished by its customers.”

He continued: “The coming months will see the company undergo further change as it is positioned for further growth. This change is likely to result in a simplified operating model that encompasses the things the business does well, whilst reducing its borrowings, susceptibility to economic shocks and building greater resilience.”

Wood will depart Adnams at the end of June. His replacement was confirmed in March as current CFO Jenny Hanlon.

Addressing ongoing speculation over its future, Adnams said it was “continuing to explore a range of options to fund its future growth plans”.

It reaffirmed the board’s preferred option of “the raising of additional capital from another party and/or the sale of freehold assets” but stressed no decision had yet been taken.