Source: Westons

Sales were up 5% during the last financial year

Upmarket cidermaker Westons has posted a year of ‘record sales’.

Sales at the Herefordshire-based brand grew £3.8m (5%) to £64.6m for the year ending 31 March 2018, results filed with Companies House this week reveal.

Westons MD Helen Thomas credited the brand’s performance to “innovative new product development, increasing sales of established award-winning premium ciders and increasing distribution gains across all channels of trade”.

Westons had also made progress abroad, she said, with its products now shipped to more than 40 countries.

Operating profits were down 65% to £1.4m, but Thomas stressed this was the result of investment. “During the year the company continues with its strategic programme of investment in infrastructure and increasing brand support.

“During the accounting period an additional £3m was invested into the production site to improve efficiencies and to satisfy increasing volume projections.”

Since the end of the 2018 financial year, Westons has mounted a major challenge to Heineken’s market-leading fruit cider Strongbow Dark Fruit with its own Mixed Berries flavour for Stowford Press, which made its off-trade debut in 440ml cans in October.

It has also added a new 6.5% abv ‘Aged Finish’ cider to its Henry Westons range, aimed at luring younger drinkers from the craft beer aisle.