British winemaker Chapel Down grows revenue after record-breaking harvest

Jessica Clark
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Fall Harvest Underway At Napa Wineries
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British winemaker Chapel Down boosted revenue last year following a record-breaking harvest.

The figures

Group sales increased by 10 per cent overall, to £13m in the year to the end of December 2018.

Sales of wine and spirits were up 11 per cent to £8.9m and beer and cider sales jumped by 10 per cent to £4m.

Read more: English and Welsh sparkling wine sales jumped six per cent last year

Gross profit was up nine per cent to £4.8m but the company made a loss before tax of £850,328, compared to £243,115 profit the previous year.

Like-for-like earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) was up 18 per cent to £1.1m.

Why it’s interesting

The luxury drinks brand’s growth was driven by the “extraordinary” harvest, Chapel Down said this morning.

Average yields per acre of vineyard were up 97 per cent last year, and the Kent-based company secured more than double the volume of fruit in good condition which allowed it to build stocks and “satisfy the excess demand” for its wine.

Going forward Chapel Down outlined plans to produce up to 1m extra bottles of wine per year after investing in 388 new acres of vineyard.

The firm has also completed construction of a new brewery building and opened the “Chapel Down Gin Works” - which also serves as a bar and restaurant - in Kings Cross.

What Chapel Down said

“We will continue to make substantial investments over the coming years in planting more vineyards, developing our winery, improving our commercial infrastructure, hiring and training the best talent and creating smart effective marketing to ensure that we build the strongest quality brands and are therefore best placed for future growth and any industry consolidation,” Chapel Down chairman John Dunsmore said.

Read more: Proceeds from Sotheby's wine sale to be donated to Notre Dame

“Our assets are supportive of the business: land – and high quality vined land in particular – continues to appreciate, our brand assets are more valuable than ever and our balance sheet is strong.

“We enjoy the custom and support of our many shareholders who tell the Chapel Down story with energy and enthusiasm.”