CANADA: Corby Spirit & Wine FY sales rise, but Canada spirits market 'soft'
- Full-year net profits fall 7.4% to CAD25m (US$23m)
- Net sales in 12 months to June end up 3.5% to CAD137.3bn
- Operating profits slip 9.5% to CAD33.5m
Corby Spirit and Wine saw its bottom line suffer partly from severance pay to employees
Corby Spirit & Wine has seen a slight increase in its full-year sales, but profits slipped as its domestic market of Canada was “soft” and administration costs rose.
The Toronto-headquartered group, which is majority-owned by Pernod Ricard, said net profits in the 12 months to the end of June fell by 7.4%. Sales in the period rose by 3.5%, while operating profits slipped by 9.5%.
The group, formerly known as Corby Distilleries, said the lift in sales was driven by shipments to the US and the distribution build-up of JP Wiser’s Canadian whisky.
Offsetting this was a “significant” increase in ad spend to support JP Wiser’s in the US, Corby said. Administration expenses rose due to a “cost-reduction programme”, including severance and termination payments to employees leaving the company.
"The overall Canadian spirits market in 2012 was growing at a robust rate of 3%, while 2013 and 2014 experienced only modest levels of growth in each of those years," the firm said. "While the Canadian market in general has been soft, Corby has taken actions to streamline its Canadian business, allowing greater focus on its key brands, while preparing for growth via its flagship Wiser's Canadian whisky brand in the US market."
Patrick O'Driscoll, Corby's president & CEO, added: "This year has been about investing behind our future growth drivers: taking share in our domestic market, creating a platform for growth in the US and ensuring that our organisation continues to be fit for purpose."
Corby also announced a dividend of CAD0.18 per share payable on 30 September on its voting class A common shares and non-voting class B common shares. Shareholders of record at the close of business on 15 September will qualify.
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