Annual General Meeting 2024

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held electronically from 10 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PF on Wednesday 22 May 2024 at 9:00 a.m. The meeting was broadcast live by webcast.

Watch a recording of the webcast »
Results of Shareholder vote »

As at 20 May 2024, there were 70,559,774 ordinary shares in issue. Shareholders are entitled to one vote per share. Votes withheld are not votes in law and so have not been included in the calculation of the proportion of votes for and against a resolution.

Questions & Responses

Question 1: (by email)
“What are the plans to grow share value that will match or exceed the initial share value [at IPO]?”

Question 2: (by email)
“The company has not paid any dividends and the price of shares has been constantly falling since the listing. Please explain your strategy and the committed deadline to achieve:
1. When dividends would start to be paid out.
2. The share price recovering to the price at the time of listing.
And importantly, please state the KPIs for FY24 to achieve the above in near future and how will you be accountable for not achieving the KPIs at the end of FY24.”

Response to questions 1 & 2:

We are disappointed with the ASC share price performance, particularly over the past 12 months. The Board and executive team are shareholders and as such our interests are aligned with all other shareholders to maximise overall shareholder returns. We are not alone on AIM with the AIM market down almost 40% since the ASC IPO. 2023 proved to be a more challenging year than anticipated. While we have delivered on almost all objectives set at the time of the IPO- cask growth, membership growth, gross profit growth and international expansion, profit delivery is about 12 months behind plan.

The team are laser focused on driving profitability through 2024 and beyond and we have had an encouraging start to the year. The revenue and EBITDA 2024 Broker estimates for 2024 are £25m revenue and £1m EBITDA and we are focused on meeting or beating those estimates with Q1 off to a good start. Our role is to run the business to the best of our ability, thereby maximising its potential/future opportunity and our belief is that the market will recognise this and our performance over time.

With regard to our balance sheet strategy, the priorities are:

  • Investing in the business to expand our stock holding, members, margins and international reach.
  • Ensuring that the business is not over leveraged.

With regard to the last point on dividends, ASC is a young, growth business and we will continue to invest in growing the business because we believe that this will generate higher returns for shareholders than paying dividends. More details on the Company’s financial performance and targets are available in the 2023 full year results presentation available on the website published in March 2024.


Question 3 (raised during meeting):
“On an apple for apple comparison, the incremental revenue from Single Cask Nation and Taiwan, how does the main business fair within the mid-single digit growth?”

Response to question 3:

The acquisition of Single Cask Nation and the expansion of the business in Taiwan are a driver of revenue growth in the year. The focus this year has been on profitable growth, and that is what we are driving from the core business, driving profits through the bottom line rather that it being revenue growth for revenue’s sake. I can’t give you an exact split, but Single Cask Nation and Tiawan have contributed to top line growth, but not solely.


Question 4 (raised during meeting):
“FY23 cash was not generated but decreased by 1m. What is the forecast for FY24 about cash generation?”

Response to question 4:

As the Chair mentioned, we are a young, growth company, always looking to invest in stock to meet future demand, so our net debt position, in line with broker expectations is expected to grow slightly in 2024 by approximately £2million. More importantly in the following years, as we start to peak in relation to spirit investment, we expect to deliver more EBITDA and cash. We then expect net debt to remain static over 2025 and 2026. It is important to note that the net investment in spirit has peaked in 2023, and during the course of 2024 we are expecting that to move from a significant net cash outflow, which has been around an average of £3million over the past two years, to a net cash inflow from spirit investment in the year.