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That Sam Adams will soon cost more

Boston Beer Co. expects costs will rise 7 to 9 percent in 2009, mostly as a result of higher packaging costs. Boston Beer Co. expects costs will rise 7 to 9 percent in 2009, mostly as a result of higher packaging costs. (Michele McDonald/Globe Staff/file)
Associated Press / March 11, 2009
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Boston Beer Co., which brews Samuel Adams beer and other beverages, said yesterday it will raise prices to help offset higher packaging costs in 2009.

The company predicted higher costs between 7 and 9 percent, mostly in packaging costs for a new contract for its glass bottles and operating costs of a Pennsylvania brewery.

The company plans to raise prices by 3 percent, which should help offset higher costs.

Boston Beer expects 2009 earnings per share between $1.40 and $1.70 per share, but warned that "actual results could vary significantly from this target."

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect $1.63 per share.

Boston Beer also anticipates that its 2009 gross margin percentage could be lower than its full-year 2008 gross margin, excluding the effect of a recall on gross margin in 2008.

The company also reported that fourth-quarter profit declined 47 percent on an asset impairment charge and higher costs for raw and packaging materials.

Boston Beer's profit fell to $3.6 million, or 25 cents per share, from $6.8 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

For the year, profit dropped 64 percent to $8.1 million, or 56 cents per share, from $22.5 million, or $1.53 per share, in 2007.

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