Moa doubles volume

Moa Group chief executive Geoff Ross (left) and founder Josh Scott. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Moa Group chief executive Geoff Ross (left) and founder Josh Scott. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Craft beer brewer Moa Group has more than doubled its sales volume during the past year and is set for another production boost, having aligned itself with Nelson's McCashin's Brewery.

For the financial year to March, Moa increased sales volumes from 40,000 cases in the first six months to 96,300 but expansion costs are mounting and capital-raising could be on the horizon.

Revenue for the year was $4.6 million, and Moa posted a before-tax loss of $5.8 million, as expected, compared with a $1.9 million loss the year before.

Moa's production target for the year was met, at 136,000 cases, or 3.67 million bottles.

Chief executive Geoff Ross said the before-tax loss was within earlier guidance of between $5 million and $6 million, as Moa invested for growth in domestic and export markets.

''There is a race on to become the dominant craft [beer] player, with data confirming we are now moving the fastest,'' he said.

Following a high of $1.25 in July-August last year, Moa shares plunged then trailed down to a year-low of 50c in April.

Yesterday's trading was slightly down, around 60c.

Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said while the McCashin's deal had solved ''one riddle'' of boosting production, Moa's revenue growth was overshadowed by expansion costs of $6.5 million.

Moa chairman Grant Baker said cash reserves were $4.1 million and major shareholders had committed to provide financial support for it to continue its growth plans.

''The company is looking at a range of financing alternatives and timing and we will keep the market abreast of plans as soon as they are finalised,'' Mr Baker said.

Mr McIntyre said Moa might seek to secure further capital, possibly during the next 12 to 18 months.

Moa has been attempting to expand its Marlborough brewery, but appeals over its resource consents had ''significantly delayed production expansion plans'', prompting the decision to enter a long-term contract brewing agreement with long-established McCashin's, the founder of Mac's brewery.

Under the long-term contract, all Moa's high-volume production will move to the McCashin's brewery, while its specialty brews remain at its Blenheim home brewery, APNZ reported.

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