Falling beer sales are a blow for Haacht Brewery

Haacht Brewery generated a net loss of 4.4 million euros last year, in part due to declining beer sales. Although its total revenues rose by 6 per cent to 126 million euros, that growth was insufficient to counterbalance increased personnel and material costs. 

In 2022, Haacht seemed to recover from the pandemic when it recorded its first profit since the outbreak, with a net profit of 4.8 million euros on revenue of 112 million. It turned out to be a short-lived recovery. In a press release on Thursday, the brewery reported disappointing figures, with a net loss of 4.4 million euros on revenue of 126 million last year. ​ 

The company points to increasing costs for raw materials and energy to explain the figures, saying that its costs rose by 15 per cent in 2023. Declining beer sales, too, had a significant impact. In Belgium, consumption fell by 5.5 per cent compared to 2022: down 6 per cent in the catering industry and down 5 per cent in shops. ​ 

Beer consumption in Belgium has been declining for some time, notably in the catering industry, but general price and cost inflation has added to the problem. Consumers spent less, and more hospitality businesses closed during and after the pandemic. As a result, Haacht, which makes brands such as Primus, Tongerlo and Super 8, found it hard to sell its beers locally.

The brewery has said it will reduce its planned investments and work on an action programme to improve profitability. It intends to offset the decline in beer sales by focusing more on speciality and non-alcoholic beers. It is also looking at the French market, which accounts for almost half of its sales.



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