Distell shareholders go home tonight (29 August) with a smile as the company's dividends for the year ending 30 June rise over 24%.

An 85c a final share dividend was declared raising the total for the year to 156c (US$0.21) a share, up from 123c last year.

This follows an increase in revenue of 12.6% to ZAR6.7bn (US$936.9m) as sales volumes rose 8.3%, MD Jan Scannel stated. He attributed this to an increased consumption of premium brands.

International sales volumes - excluding Africa - increased by 18.7% while revenue grew 14.8%. Wine sales defied international trends, with sales volume climbing 20.3%, with good growth in Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland and the US, through brands such as Drostdy-Hof, Two Oceans, Nederburg and Durbanville Hills.

On the home front, overall alcoholic beverage sales volumes increased by 7.2% compared with overall rate of 2%. RTDs and cider brands rose 16.9% despite stiff competition.

Amarula, Distell's biggest spirits brand in terms of exports, recorded growth of 12.1%, with Germany, Canada, the US and Brazil contributing to its success.