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Why the Lark (ASX:LRK) share price is flying high today

share price higher
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The Lark Distilling Co Ltd (ASX: LRK) share price is flying high today on the release of its first quarter FY21 update.

The news has sent its share to an all-time high of $1.55, up 14.8% during afternoon trade. In comparison, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) has dropped to 6,369 points, down 0.2%.

Let’s see how the whisky producer performed for first quarter of the new financial year.

Strong Q1 performance

For the period ending September 30, Lark reported a robust result, despite restricted trading conditions related to COVID-19.

Net sales growth increase to $2.28 million, representing 78% of year-on-year growth (YoY). This was underpinned by its online division which jumped to a record 400% YoY. The limited release program of its Sherry Sherry, Wolf Release, and Rum Cask contributed to the standout performance.

The overall positive result was offset by a decline in the hospitality segment. Revenue fell to roughly $300,000 due to state-wide lockdown. However, it is anticipated the reopening of borders on October 28.

Total value of whisky under maturation was $107 million, reflecting an 8% lift on the prior period. The company focused its sales and marketing efforts on the launch of Lark Symphony No1, and recruited a sales representative. The new appointment will seek to drive sales and improve Lark’s service of the independent liquor trade.

The company had a healthy cash on hand balance of $12.5 million, supported by the capital raise undertaken in September. Most of the proceeds will be used to fund the inventory build of Lark’s whisky under maturation before FY23.

Nomination award

Lark has been nominated as ‘worldwide whisky producer of the year’ in one of the industry’s most illustrious awards. The International Whisky and Spirits Competition winner will be announced on 18 November in London.

Commenting on the nomination, Lark managing director Geoff Bainbridge said:

It is an incredible achievement for a little distillery at the bottom of the world to step onto the global stage and bring home two golds, five silvers and the coveted nomination for Worldwide Whisky Producer of the Year. We are immensely proud of the quality of product we produce here in Tasmania and are honoured to be recognised by the global industry and the International Whisky and Spirits Competition in 2020.

Lark share price summary

The Lark share price has performed solidly in the past 6 months, gaining 94% from the 78 cents reached in April. At a market capitalisation of $95 million, and a raft of upbeat announcements, the sky’s the limit.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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Aaron Teboneras