Strong sales in emerging markets offsets weaker sales in southern Europe
Drinks company Edrington Group is reporting a 21 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £84.3 million for the first six months of the year.
Turnover also rose by six per cent to £295.9 million, with underlying brand growth up seven per cent, which the group said was enhanced by “early phasing sales and shipments, the impact of which will unwind in the second half of the financial year”.
The Glasgow-based group, which produces brands including The Macallan, Brugal, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, and Highland Park, said strong growth in the US, Asia and in emerging markets such as Turkey and Brazil, had offset weaker sales in southern Europe.
Single malt sales have been particularly strong in the US, with blended brands also performing strongly in Asia, and premium brand sales have also been “encouraging” in emerging markets, particularly Russia.
Volume sales of The Famous Grouse blended whisky have risen by more than 25 per cent in the emerging markets, Edrington said, and sales of Cutty Sark have risen in the US for the first time in 25 years as a result of a change in distributor and increased investment.
The group said it now has a formal presence in Africa to address key markets in Nigeria, Kenya and Angola and has also expanded its presence in eastern Europe, with a focus on Ukraine, Poland and Croatia.
Ian Curle, chief executive of Edrington, said: “This has been another period of strong growth in our business and reflects a fantastic performance by our employees – both in Scotland and across the world.
“Demand for our single malt brands, led by The Macallan, remains very strong – particularly in the US.
“Growth in our other brands has been driven through effective marketing, brand innovation and a dynamic approach to new and developing markets.
“Although we expect the beneficial impact of the first half phasing to unwind in the second half of the financial year, we are delighted with these results.”
Edrington said it reduced its overall borrowing by £24.1 million in the six months to September 30.
In July the group posted a five per cent rise in full-year profits to £148.8 million, largely on widening margins in some overseas markets as turnover was largely flat at £556.1 million.