Deathwatch - profits fall to naan at all for Cobra Beer
Cobra Beer may well be ingenious because less gaseous, but it's also less genius because less good at making money. The company has been bought by a joint venture between corporate booze empire Molson Coors and founder Lord Karan Bilimora after sliding smoothly down the gullet of administration. Molson Coors already have their fingers in plenty of pints, including Carling, Grolsch and Coors Light.
The sale was agreed just before PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed as administrators to the business, meaning the company was never offered on sale in public. Despite sales of nearly £200 million in the past year, the company has yet to make a profit in the past 20 years; the last set of accounts for the business to 2007 show an annual loss of £13 million.
Analysts believe the recession has seen a downturn in demand for premium lagers as drinkers stick to the domestic cooking lager, yet reports suggest Cobra Beer has grown sales by a fifth in the last twelve months. It's quite a business that grows by 20 per cent in a recession, brings in £200 million in a year and is still on its arse. We can only put it down to some of the most godawful advertising every to flicker across our unsuspecting retinas: