LWC Drinks sales plummet by over £100 million

LWC Drinks revenue fell by £103 million over 2020 as sales to pubs and restaurants dried up during lockdown.

In the year to September 2020, the wholesaler saw its profit of £11.8 million from 2019 collapse to a £800,000 loss.

After a strong start to the year, turnover plunged by 90 per cent after the government advised customers to shun hospitality businesses in March last year.

Having made £103 million in Q1 and £65.6 million in Q2, LWC made just £3.7 million between April and June.

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However, sales rallied in the summer with the easing of lockdown restrictions and start of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme.

The company made £71.4 million between July and September

It was also helped by a £20 million loan through the government scheme CLBILS, which it partly invested in a new 173,000 sq foot warehouse in Oldham.

LWC’s turbulent year contrasts to that of other drinks retailers, which performed strongly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spirits company Distil shifted away from hospitality and entertainment industries to take advantage of the e-commerce boom.

Its profit rose by 34 per cent over the financial year.

Internet retailer Naked Wines watched sales rise by 68 per cent to £340 million.

Earlier this month, the International Wines and Spirits Record revealed that the alcohol industry had been kept afloat over lockdown by e-commerce and home-drinking.



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