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Little World Brewers boosts sales by 26pc

Little World Beverages (LWB), the boutique beer company recently acquired by Lion, has delivered a 26 per cent growth in profits, an achievement which is sure to impress its new owner.

The result is likely to be LWB’s last result as a public company and the maker of the Little Creatures, White Rabbit and Pipsqueak said strong external beer sales have boosted the sales.

The company has achieved $11.6 million net profit for the year, significantly up from last year’s $9.2 million, an enviable feat in the struggling Australian beer market, which has seen beer sales had drop by 4 per cent in volume.

Craft beers, such as those brewed by LWB, are rising by up to 20 per cent, according to Chief executive Ross Sudano.

"We're in a segment of the market where we have got great engagement with consumers and they're demanding more," he said.

“The success had been fuelled by increased distribution and "pull-through" marketing which created customer demand through brand awareness.

Beer sales were almost entirely the reason for the 22 per cent increase in revenue to $85.8 million, he said.

It is expected that LWB will commission a new brewery in Geelong in early 2013, which is expected to ultimately double output.

In June, Japanese-owned Lion submitted an offer to acquire the company, valuing it at $382 million and shareholders will vote next month on the $5.30-a-share offer.

Sudano some consumers have expressed disappointment in the buyout, but it has not impacted sales.

"A lot of consumers are waiting to make sure nothing changes, particularly around the product profile, which it won't,” he said.

"Then it will just be business as normal and they will forget who owns us, I think."

Image: Sydney Morning Herald

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