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MGP Ingredients Inc (MGPI) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

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MGPI earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2020.

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MGP Ingredients Inc (MGPI -1.51%)
Q4 2020 Earnings Call
Feb 25, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the MGP Ingredients Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please note, this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mike Houston, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Mike Houston -- Investor Relations

Thanks, Gary. Good morning, everyone. I'm Mike Houston with Lambert and Company, MGP's Investor Relations firm. And joining me today are members of their management team, including Dave Colo, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Brandon Gall, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. We will begin the call with management's prepared remarks and then open the call up to questions. However, before we begin, it is my responsibility to inform you that this call may involve certain forward-looking statements such as projections of sales, operating income, gross margin and effective tax rate as well as statements on the plans and objectives of the company's business.

The company's actual results could differ materially from any forward-looking statements made today due to a number of factors, including the risk factors described in the company's most recent annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made during the call. If anyone does not already have a copy of the press release issued by MGP today, you can access it at the company's website, www.mgpingredients.com. At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to MGP's President and Chief Executive Officer, Dave Colo. Dave?

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Thank you, Mike, and thank you all for joining us. On this call, we will provide an overview of our results for the quarter and year, updates on key financial performance metrics and a discussion of progress against our strategy. Then we will take your questions. 2020 represented a solid year of improved effectiveness in our tactical execution while accelerating the pace of our strategic implementation. Our objective to optimize brown goods profit by increasing volume share at market based pricing paid dividends as gross profits for the Distillery Products segment and company finished the quarter and year at record levels. Additionally, our ability to improve throughput and profitability in our Ingredient Solutions segment resulted in an increase of 97% in gross profit for the year.

Consolidated sales for the year increased 9%, while gross profit increased 29.1% to a record $98.8 million, representing 25% of consolidated sales. Reported operating income increased 14.8%, while adjusted operating income increased 20.9%. We are very pleased with the continued momentum by each of our segments this quarter, reflecting strong growth for the year. Each quarter this year posted a record gross profit result versus the respective prior year's quarters, and the fourth quarter was no exception. Aged whiskey sales experienced another record quarter, which drove an 11.4% increase in premium beverage alcohol sales for the year, also a record. Specialty ingredients sales posted strong double-digit growth for the quarter and grew 19.2% for the year. Looking at each segment individually. In our Distillery Products segment, fourth quarter sales increased 7% and was primarily driven by a 28.2% increase in brown goods sales.

Full year sales of premium beverage alcohol were up 11.4%, with record sales of aged whiskey being the primary catalyst for growth. Aged whiskey sales also served as the primary driver to the increase in gross margins in the period. The average age of barrels sold was the highest it has been since we began making these aged whiskey barrels available for sale to our customers in meaningful quantities. Our growth in sales of brown goods this year has outpaced the longer-term market trends. This was primarily due to increased demand from national and multinational customers as they filled gaps in their aged brown goods inventory levels. Sales of new distillate for the year declined slightly from last year as we experienced more demand for aged whiskey as compared to new distillate, which we also believe was driven by some of our customers leveraging our aging whiskey inventory as a solution to fill gaps in their inventory.

During the first half of the year, craft customers represented a smaller proportion of total sales volume of aged whiskey, but that trend reversed in the back half of the year as their purchases increased to be more in line with historical averages. While consumer demand for American whiskey remains robust and our diverse customer mix has positioned us well, we remain uncertain as to when the growth rates will begin to normalize and come more in line with the long-term trend for the overall category. We believe our significant share and scale advantage will position us well if this increased period of demand continues. During 2020, we plan to increase our focus toward growing volume share in the global American whiskey category and refine how we approach the selling process with potential new or infrequent customers.

As anticipated, this action did not result in significant changes to our overall pricing, but supported additional margin expansion and record gross profit results for the quarter and year. Our record gross profit results confirm the long-term value of our aging whiskey inventory, supported by our ability to cultivate solid partnerships with existing customers as well as attract additional aged whiskey and new distillate customers. Continuing on to other areas of the segment. Sales of premium beverage white goods increased 2.4% for the year, while sales of industrial alcohol increased 1.1% for the year with improved margins. Historically, MGP has provided third-party sales and marketing services to sell industrial alcohol produced by ICP, our former joint venture partner.

Going forward, ICP will market and sell these products, and we anticipate discontinuing these services during the first half of 2021, with sales for the year totaling approximately 20% of historical levels. For reference, in 2020, we sold approximately $24 million of product for ICP, reflected as industrial alcohol revenue within our Distillery Products segment, at low single-digit gross margins. To be clear, this has no impact on MGP's internal production volumes or direct customer relationships. Sales of our distillers grains by product decreased 2.4% for the year, primarily due to the need to convert from selling dry distillers grains to wet distillers grains due to a fire in our byproduct drying system that occurred during the fourth quarter at our Atchison distillery.

The byproduct dryer is no longer in service and will need to be replaced due to the fire. Thankfully, no employees were injured during the event. As a result of this, we made operational changes to restart production of the Atchison facility within a week in order to continue to supply our customers' needs. The operational changes include the ability to process and sell or spent distillers grains as wet byproduct feed versus drive byproduct feed as well as supplementing our distillation capacity with purchased product that we further rectify to produce beverage-grade alcohol. We will continue to operate in this manner until we complete installation of a new byproduct drying and handling system that we expect will be operational in the back half of the year.

Brandon will cover this in greater detail during his prepared remarks. Revenue from warehouse services increased 6.7% for the year, reflecting, in part, growth in the number of customers, barrels aging in our whiskey warehouses and other services we provide. Turning to Ingredient Solutions. Sales for the year grew 19.2%, while gross profit increased to $20.8 million or 26.7% of segment sales. We finished 2020 with continued momentum with the fourth quarter being one of our strongest ever. The solid revenue and profit growth this quarter and year reflect our diverse customer base and our ability to further optimize the product mix. Our product offerings remain aligned with strong consumer trends, as evidenced by our ability to effectively recruit new business and grow with existing customers.

We are very pleased with the revenue and profit results for each of our segments this year. Overall, both of our business segments continue to benefit from favorable consumer trends, and our strategic plan has us well positioned to fully capture the potential these trends offer. This concludes my initial remarks. Let me now turn things over to Brandon Gall for a review of the key metrics and numbers. Brandon?

Brandon M. Gall -- Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Dave. For the quarter, consolidated sales increased 9.1% to $100.9 million as a result of double-digit growth in both premium beverage alcohol and the Ingredient Solutions segment. Gross profit increased 47.2% to a record $31.7 million due to improved segment gross profits in both the Distillery Products and Ingredient Solutions segments. Gross margin increased by 810 basis points to 31.4%. For the year, consolidated sales increased 9% to $395.5 million due to Distillery Products and Ingredient Solutions segment sales growth. Gross profit increased 29.1% to a record $98.8 million as a result of higher Distillery Products and Ingredient Solutions segment gross profits.

Gross margin increased by 390 basis points to 25% through 2020. Also impacting gross margin results for the year was the ransomware cyberattack, that temporarily disrupted production at our Atchison facilities during the second quarter. While no financial information was affected, and there is no evidence that any sensitive or confidential data was improperly accessed or extracted from the network, it is estimated that this attack adversely impacted gross profit by $1.7 million during the second quarter, of which, $633,000 was recovered through a business interruption insurance claim in December 2020. We are currently evaluating our ability to seek further recovery related to this event. Additionally, we experienced a fire at the Atchison facility during the fourth quarter, which damaged feed drying equipment and caused a temporary loss of production time. It is estimated that it adversely impacted gross profit for the quarter by $4.5 million.

Our property and casualty stock throughput and business interruption insurance protect against this type of event. And as such, during the quarter, we did record a $3.8 million partial settlement from our insurance carrier, partially offsetting the loss. Until the replacement system is operational, we anticipate this will affect gross profit results. However, we expect a portion, if not all of these losses will be offset by our business interruption insurance coverage, similar to the fourth quarter. Please note, however, the timing of any insurance recovery, despite best efforts, is outside of our control and may not occur in the same period as the recognized loss. Corporate selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter increased $10.9 to $16.2 million as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, primarily driven by higher personnel and incentive compensation expense, inclusive of CEO transition costs as well as business acquisition costs related to the Luxco transaction.

For the full year, corporate SG&A expenses of $44.6 million increased by $15.3 million or 52.2% from 2019 due to higher personnel and incentive compensation expense inclusive of certain incremental costs incurred relating to the transition of the CEO position and business acquisition costs related to the Luxco transaction. We will incur additional transaction-related costs, including costs associated with synergy attainment in the first half of 2021. Thereafter, we expect our SG&A to return to more normal levels. Operating income for the fourth quarter decreased 4.4% to $15.5 million, primarily due to the higher SG&A expenses as previously discussed. Non-GAAP operating income increased 4.6% to $17 million, exclusive of certain business acquisition costs related to the Luxco transaction and CEO transition costs.

For the full year, operating income increased 14.8% to $54.2 million due to higher sales and gross profit, partially offset by higher SG&A expenses as discussed. Non-GAAP operating income increased 20.9% to $57.1 million, exclusive of CEO transition costs and business acquisition costs related to the Luxco transaction. Our corporate effective tax rate for the quarter was 23.7% compared with 18.5% a year ago. For the full year, the corporate effective tax rate was 23.3% compared with 15.6% in 2019. The 7.7 percentage point increase was primarily due to the favorable tax impact of vested share-based awards that occurred during the prior year. Net income for the fourth quarter decreased 10.2% to $11.6 million, and earnings per share were $0.69 due to lower operating income and higher state income taxes. Non-GAAP EPS for the quarter decreased to $0.75 per share from $0.76, exclusive of business acquisition costs related to the Luxco transaction and CEO transition costs.

For the full year, net income increased 4% to $40.3 million and earnings per share increased to $2.37 from $2.27 per share in the prior year, primarily due to higher operating income, partially offset by the increase in tax rate previously described. Full year non-GAAP EPS increased to $2.51 per share from $2.27 per share, exclusive of CEO transition costs and business acquisition costs related to the Luxco transaction. Cash flow from operations was $53.3 million in 2020, which was up from $19.7 million in 2019, reflecting the strong cash-generating capability of our business. In addition to improved operating results, the more than doubling of our operational cash flows was also driven by the combination of record aged sales and reduced putaway for aging whiskey inventory. Strong free cash flows for the quarter and year further highlight the value of our aging whiskey inventory.

MGP's balance sheet remains strong, allowing us to continue to invest to grow as well as return funds to shareholders. We remain well capitalized with debt totaling $40 million and a strong cash position of $21.7 million. Our strong cash generating capabilities, coupled with the enhanced access to capital enabled by the new revolving credit facility provide MGP with ample financial flexibility as we execute our strategic growth plan, including evaluating acquisition opportunities that strengthen our position in growing markets. Our investment in aging inventory decreased by $3 million at cost in the fourth quarter. This net decrease was driven by increased sales of aged whiskey and decreased putaway during the quarter.

As a reminder from our last quarter's call, the decreased putaway does have a dilutive impact on segment gross margins, rather than fixed overhead getting capitalized on the balance sheet as aging inventory, it gets expensed through to the P&L as cost of goods sold and other products. This dynamic impacted Distillery Products' segment gross margins by 170 basis points in the fourth quarter and 90 basis points for the year as compared to the prior year periods. Although we are currently putting away less inventory for aging than in previous quarters, it is important to note that fluctuations in our quarterly investment could also be impacted by a number of factors, including customer demand for new distillate, production efficiencies, mix and capacity and sales of aged whiskey.

We also remain committed to continuing our investment in our operational capabilities and finished the year with $18.6 million in capital expenditures. This figure came in approximately $1 million lower than our original estimate due to equipment delivery delays related to the COVID pandemic. We expect approximately $43.3 million in capital expenditures during 2021, which includes approximately $30 million for the previously mentioned dryer replacement. Of the approximately $30 million in total costs, we anticipate between $15 million and $20 million of that total will be funded through insurance proceeds. The balance of the spending reflects an acceleration of our planned future capital expenditures to provide greater commercial capabilities, enhance flexibility and improve efficiency relative to the previous dryer, which was fully depreciated from an accounting perspective.

Our new dryer is projected to be operational in the back half of 2021. We expect incremental dryer depreciation expense of approximately $1 million, an increase in insurance premium payments of approximately $4 million in 2021. In light of our strategy to pursue growth through investing in our business and the recent Luxco acquisition announcement, the Board authorized a quarterly dividend in the amount of $0.12 per share, which is payable on March 26 to stockholders of record as of March 12. The Board continues to view dividends as an important way to share the success of the company with shareholders. We believe the capital allocation strategy focused on organic and acquisitive growth aligns well with our long-term growth strategy as well as the underlying consumer trends, our business is uniquely positioned to leverage. Let me now turn things back over to Dave for concluding remarks.

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Thanks, Brandon. This year marked an inflection point of implementing our long-term strategic plan which has delivered substantial improvements to our financial results and build a strong foundation for future growth. A critical part of that foundation was positioning MGP to benefit from the robust growth of the American whiskey category. two key components of this effort have been our inventory of aging whiskey and accelerating our branded initiative. As Brandon mentioned, our inventory of aging whiskey declined $3 million from the third quarter to $105.4 million at cost at the end of 2020, reflecting strong sales of aged whiskey and reduced putaway of whiskey.

We believe our library of various mash bills and vintages will continue to contribute significant levels of profit and cash flow for the company. We also took a material step toward accelerating our branded initiative through the recent Luxco definitive merger agreement announcement. This acquisition, which is expected to close in the first half of this year, significantly expands our product line in the higher value branded-spirits sector and increases our sales and distribution capabilities across all 50 states.

Importantly, the transaction is expected to improve MGP's gross margin and cash flow generation profile, and we expect EPS to be low to middle single-digit percentage accretive in the first full year following its close, excluding onetime transaction expenses. This combination is consistent with our ongoing strategy to shift the company's focus into higher value-added products. It will provide an immediate material increase to MGP's scale in the branded-spirits sector, establishes an additional platform for future growth and significantly diversifies our business.

There are many reasons to be excited by this acquisition all of which are expected to provide sustainable growth opportunities, which benefit our various stakeholders. During this past year, we were fortunate to strengthen both business segments with key hires. The Ingredient Solutions R&D team was strengthened by the additions of a Vice President of R&D, a culinary chef and a principal food scientist, each have experience in specific disciplines that will enhance MGP's role in helping customers succeed with fast-paced new product development in areas of high demand from consumers, such as plant-based proteins and dietary fiber. In our distillery products organization, we recently created a lead master distiller role, which will support our strategy of developing bench strength and collaboration among MGP's team of master distillers and master blenders, allowing us to efficiently serve customers of any size.

And lastly, we have expanded our export sales team to include an individual based in London with more than three decades of experience in European markets. Each of these key additions to the MGP team have collectively strengthened our ability to execute on our long-term strategic plan. Although we believe the strengthened team and our proven ability to execute our long-term strategy this past year will lead to sustainable growth opportunities, we have identified three potential headwinds for 2021, we wanted to proactively share. The first potential headwind relates to increased commodity costs. As you may be aware, during the past several months, there have been significant increases in corn exports from the U.S. as well as downward revisions to the 2020 corn crop yields and stocks, resulting in higher corn costs.

As a reminder, we employ an extensive risk management program that includes purchasing the corresponding grain, at the same time, we contract volume and pricing for our products. However, for various reasons, we do not contract 100% of our sales. And as a result, we cannot provide assurance that we will always be able to price through increases in commodity costs to our customers in the open market. Second is the historic severe cold weather conditions that have occurred in the Midwestern corridor of the United States in recent weeks. As a result of these weather conditions, we were required by our energy suppliers to reduce natural gas usage at our Atchison operations for approximately two weeks. This impacted our distillery that produces grain neutral-spirits and industrial alcohol, as well as our ingredients facility, which produces wheat-based proteins and starches.

This disruption in production will likely result in a reduction to revenue and earnings for the first quarter. We are in the process of restoring service levels to our customers as a result of this historic event. Finally, like many other businesses that sell goods internationally, ours too is experiencing issues with backlogs at various shipping ports as well as shortages for shipping containers needed to deliver our products abroad. While these logistical issues are likely the result of the global supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unclear how long these delays and issues will persist. Similar to 2020, this year is presenting numerous challenges to our business. However, demand for our products remains robust, and we believe our business continues to be well positioned to mitigate these challenges through the balance of the year.

While the COVID pandemic brought with it accelerated growth for certain parts of our business, it also continues to bring increased uncertainty during these unprecedented times. While we remain very confident about the long-term potential of our business, we anticipate continued uncertainty related to the pandemic throughout the year. As a result, it continues to be difficult to predict with any level of precision, the pandemic's cumulative impact on our future financial results. For these reasons, we are not providing 2021 annual guidance at this time, and we'll reassess this position based on the visibility of the macroeconomic recovery. Despite these changing dynamics, we believe the underlying macro consumer trend supporting the ongoing growth of the American whiskey category remains strong.

Notably, we rolled out our Remus Repeal Reserve Series IV Straight Bourbon Whiskey during the fourth quarter, while also debuting single barrel programs for our George Remus and Rossville Union brands earlier in the year. While still small, total annual sales for our brands grew as expected by solid double-digit growth rates in 2020. We believe our brands are well positioned for additional growth in 2021 as we integrate with Luxco's marketing and sales teams and gain access to their national distribution capabilities following the close of the transaction.

Our focus on continually refining the effectiveness of our tactical execution, accelerating the pace of our strategic implementation and leveraging the strong foundation we have built has positioned MGP for sustainable long-term growth. Finally, I would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and actions that delivered outstanding results in a year full of challenges and opportunities. That concludes our prepared remarks. Operator, we are ready to begin the question-and-answer portion of the call.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Bill Chappell with Truist Securities.

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Thanks, good morning. Hey, I just want to start kind of push back on the no guidance. I mean, we've seen pretty much every consumer-facing company give some level of guidance for 2021. And I understand we're still in a pandemic, but I've got to think visibility is improved at least over the past six months to give you some kind of guide, and you're also a business that kind of has an order pattern from customers that you can see.

And, so give me some more color why this business is so different and why the visibility is so poor that you can't give some initial guidance? And if you can't give guidance, can you at least tell us do you expect the business to grow in 2021 versus 2020? Because, as we're looking at an accretion number out of Luxco, just kind of trying to figure out what the base we're talking about.

Brandon M. Gall -- Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Bill, this is Brandon. I'll start off on that. And a couple of things. In the spirits industry, not all of our peers are giving guidance. In fact, some are still refraining for the exact reasons that we shared. Additionally, some of our big profit drivers, primarily in our brown goods side of our business. The order patterns are not always highly visible. We've been very clear on that with investors over the course of the last couple of years. So, although 2020 was a record year for that part of our business, just do the inherent order patterns of our customers. It does not give us any added visibility as we go into this year.

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Bill, I think the other thing is, as we get into this year, we've got the Luxco acquisition to close here in the first half of the year. I think we need to get through that process as well. Take a look at what's going on in the environment post-close and then reassess our view on guidance for the balance of the year at that point in time.

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

So is there a chance that your ex-Luxco earnings to be down this year? I mean, there's always a chance. But I mean, is that what you're seeing that there's some risk to numbers? Or just directionally trying to understand, you seem very bullish on a lot of opportunities, but it's again, tough for our to get our arms around where things are going.

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Yes. No, I think that's a fair pushback. But I think for all the reasons Brandon stated, we're just not going to give guidance at this point in time, Bill. We do still continue to believe we've got tailwinds in both our Ingredients business as well as our Distillery Products segment. In the past, we've said we expect to grow in line with category growth rates in those particular segments. We still feel good about that. And like I said, I think we'll be in a better position post-close on the Luxco transaction to assess if we think that's the appropriate time to provide guidance or not.

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Okay. Well, turning to one area where I'm pretty sure you have very good certainty on the industrial alcohol side. I think you said that's pre-sold a year in advance, and it runs at capacity. And I also believe that you went through the kind of pricing negotiations and contracts over the past quarters. So can you give us an update of where that stands? Because I think there was an expectation that there'd be higher margins and higher overall profitability with just the increased demand for hand sanitizers, wipes from your customers?

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Sure. Yes, we have pretty much completed the pricing cycle in Q4 of last year on industrial alcohol. Keep in mind, Bill, we do not price or contract 100% of our volume. We leave a certain percentage open for the spot market for various reasons. We did see improved pricing during that contract cycle like we thought we would. What we anticipate playing out this year, and I think we've talked about this on the last couple of calls, if there's new capacity that's come on to the market in industrial as well as GNS capacity it started coming on the market in the second half of last year. There's new capacity that's gonna come on this year.

So we do think that's going to suppress pricing as the new capacity comes into the market. We are seeing a little bit of reduction in demand as COVID goes on longer and longer. I think people bought a lot of inventory that rolled out in the form of hand sanitizer and other cleaning products, if you will. And if you notice in the stores now, there's an abundance of hand sanitizer and alcohol products, etc. So long story short, we were able to get better pricing. We think the spot markets are probably gonna start to decline through the balance of the year due to the increased capacity. But we should see some improvement in our industrial margins for the year.

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Okay. And then just to the brown spirits on the aged inventory. With the Luxco deal expected, how does that change your view on the aged use of the aged inventory? I mean, at one point, you had a plan to kind of work the inventory down, which I think is still moving forward. But to the level which you want to move it down, does that change? And when I say that, I know you're not making or I don't believe you're making any of the Luxco brown spirits for them. But you certainly have an opportunity to either: a, expand through the Luxco distribution, your existing brown spirit products or potentially add more? And do you want to hold back some of that inventory to make your -- some of these brands bigger, faster?

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Yes. It's a great question. I think the way we look at is the highest and best use of the inventory. So obviously, the best use of it is in our own brands. But as we've talked about historically, we have put away whiskey to support the growth of our own brands, and we'll continue to do that. We remain obviously very committed to having enough putaway to support our existing customers' needs as well. And with Luxco post-close, we definitely will be looking at opportunities.

There could be opportunities to come out with new brands that we develop that can use our liquid. Luxco, as you know, Bill, their whiskey brands are all primarily Kentucky-based whiskey. So we have -- they have adequate distillation capacity at this point to support their own brand's needs. However, if we want to launch new brands post-close with Luxco, we certainly have the capability to do that with our current inventory levels.

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Okay. And then last one for me. Just any more color on just the timing of the Luxco? You said first half. I mean, should we assume that safely sometime in the second quarter? I didn't know if there's anything that -- why it would take six months to close, it seems fairly straightforward transaction.

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Yes. I mean, it's the typical things you have to go through. This deal is going through the HSR process as we speak. And we have to go through a number of regulatory matters with the TTB in the states on licenses and permits. So we're deep into that process. We certainly don't see anything at this point in time that would prevent this deal from closing. We're moving as quickly as we can, and our goal is to close as quickly as we can. So there's nothing at this point, Bill, that we see to prevent that.

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

No roadblocks. Okay great, thank you.

Operator

The next question is from Alex Fuhrman with Craig-Hallum.

Alex Fuhrman -- Craig-Hallum -- Analyst

Great. Thanks very much for taking my question. Dave, you mentioned in the prepared remarks that your sales team has really changed strategy. It sounds like a whole different approach to selling whiskey that has been successful. Can you talk a little bit more about that? And in particular, I mean, it seems like for years, the company has had a really good stockpile of aged whiskey. And the issue has been less about the value of the inventory and more about the business of actually selling it. Now it looks like you have two quarters in a row where you've been able to get a good number of transactions executed for aged whiskey. Is that going to be the norm now going forward? Can you talk a little bit more about the changes in your sales process and what we should see going forward.

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Sure. Yes, Alex, I think we talked about the change, if you will, in our selling process for, I think, the last three, four quarters now. And yes, it's definitely gaining traction. And we've had a number of new customers come into the fold, a couple of pretty significant multinationals have come into the fold in the last couple of quarters here and bought aged. And we think what's really driving that. It is the combination of the kind of the subtle changes we've made in our go-to-market with our brown goods, but also just the increased demand that we've seen over the past 12 months in whiskey. And part of that, obviously, it's driven by the great marketing that all of our customers do with their whiskey brands and the continued increase in interest from consumers.

But I think we'd be naive if we didn't think part of it was also due to the changes that we saw with COVID and the move to much more off-premise sales and a reduction in on-premise. And that, I think, has benefited some of the larger American whiskey brands. And I think we benefited from that as they needed to fill some gaps in their aged inventory as they saw, probably demand higher than they expected, primarily probably over the last six to nine months. But yes, I think overall, we still feel we have plenty of aged inventory. We'll continue to manage that and put away what we think is the appropriate amount on a quarterly basis to support our customers' needs and any future demand that we think is gonna be out there.

Alex Fuhrman -- Craig-Hallum -- Analyst

That's helpful, thanks. And then as you think about what you just mentioned with a lot of your bigger customers kind of making some of these catch-up purchases to fill holes in their inventory. I mean you guys deal with so many different customers. I imagine you have a pretty good view into sort of the overall landscape. Do you feel that top whiskey brands have sufficiently caught up? Or is there still room in their inventory that they're gonna need to fill in 2021?

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Yes. I mean, as you know, Alex, our customers don't tell us that. So that's part of what creates the uncertainty that Brandon was speaking to earlier about visibility of customer order patterns. But I can tell you what we've seen play out this past year is, if you'll recall, when the pandemic first hit and on-premise locations were shut down, it really impacted the craft distillers. And we saw a significant drop-off in the amount of activity -- of selling activity with our craft customers. As the year progressed, and we started to see this in Q3 and then it continued in Q4, we've seen a resurgence in craft distillers needs for aged inventory. So I think that's a good sign.

I think that will probably continue if on-premise continues to reopen. And if the vaccines continue to be successful and the cases of COVID continue to decline, there's no reason not to expect that. So that's a good trend, I think, that we're starting to see emerge. But as far as knowing if our kind of the multinational and national customers have purchased enough inventory at this point to fill their gaps, it's hard to predict that.

Alex Fuhrman -- Craig-Hallum -- Analyst

Okay. Fair enough, thanks. And then my last question, I guess, in the release, you guys break out specifically some of the onetime costs around the management transition and the M&A due diligence. Can you give us a little bit more color on the financial impact of the fire and your Atkinson facility? Is the net impact to results, I think you mentioned getting or having a record for an insurance settlement in the numbers, so is the net impact to the results, the $4.5 million you called out minus the insurance settlement? And just where might we see that show up in the numbers?

Brandon M. Gall -- Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Good question, Alex. So, to answer the last one first on this dryer, you got it exactly right. So the $4 million in change gross profit impact we saw from the dryer was offset by the receipt of roughly $3.5 million. And you will see that play out at the gross profit level. So that's where you'll see that. Again, we were able to receive the insurance recovery in the period, which is great from a timing perspective and a reporting perspective, we're gonna strive to do the same in future quarters until we get our new dryer operational. But a lot -- as I already mentioned, some of that's not gonna be totally within our control.

Some of the other items you mentioned. So in the quarter SG&A, moving away from the dryer, Alex. SG&A in the quarter increased about $10.9 million. About -- this is broken out toward the back of our press release, but about $1.5 million of that increase is due to the CEO transition and Luxco deal-related costs. The vast majority of the remainder is incentive comp related. So -- and that's driven by two things. Firstly, not reversing out the incentive accrual as we did in the prior year; and secondly, increasing the accrual in response to the company's performance in 2020. So as we also mentioned, once we get pass the first half of this year with additional transaction expenses we expect to incur, we do expect SG&A to normalize in the back half.

Alex Fuhrman -- Craig-Hallum -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful, thank you.

Operator

This concludes our question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the conference back over to David Colo for any closing remarks.

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Thank you for your interest in our company and for joining us today for our fourth quarter and full year call. We look forward to talking with you again after the first quarter. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks].

Duration: 44 minutes

Call participants:

Mike Houston -- Investor Relations

David J. Colo -- President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Brandon M. Gall -- Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Bill Chappell -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Alex Fuhrman -- Craig-Hallum -- Analyst

More MGPI analysis

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