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Widmer, Redhook parent ekes out a first-quarter profit, despite higher marketing costs

May 16, 2011

Craft Brewers Alliance Inc., (NASDAQ: HOOK) the parent of Widmer Bros. Brewing, today said it eked out a small profit in the first quarter even though higher marketing, sales and capital expenses offset revenue growth.

The Portland-based brewer of Widmer and Woodinville, Wash.-based Redhook Ale Brewery beers reported a net profit of $16,000, or 0 cents a diluted share, on sales of $35 million during the period ending March 31. That compares to a net profit of $209,000, or 1 cent a diluted share, on sales of $29.3 million during the same period a year ago.

Total shipments jumped 15 percent to 147,900 barrels. Cash and equivalents dropped from $753,000 a year ago to $95,000. Long-term debt and capital lease obligations were $25.5 million, up from $23.6 million.

The Company said marketing and sales expenses — up 50 percent during the quarter — would stay high the rest of 2011 as it tries to enter select markets. Capital investments in its breweries, IT and quality assurance systems also will continue and total $4.5 million for the year.

The company said it expects to record a second-quarter gain of $10 million from the $16.3 million sale completed May 2 of Fulton Street Brewery to Anheuser-Busch, Inc. It said it used some proceeds from the sale last month to pay down debt.

– Brent Hunsberger

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