• Profits up by 1%
  • Margins under pressure
  • MD says recovery is slow
Distell weathers tough conditions in fiscal half-year

Distell weathers tough conditions in fiscal half-year

South African alcoholic drinks group Distell has overcome tough economic conditions, locally and abroad, to increase sales and profits in its fiscal half-year.

Distell said today (17 February) that volume sales for the six months to the end of December rose by 2.8%, with net sales up by 3.6% to ZAR6.9bN (US$955.6m).

Distell said operating profits were flat and net profits increased by 1.2%, to ZAR630.6m. Profits fell by 1.9% in the previous half-year period. The group attributed lower operating margins to an unfavourable ZAR exchange rate and a less profitable sales mix.

Local cider and RTD sales helped to offset a marginal decline in wine sales and a drop across Distell’s extensive spirits portfolio.

Group MD Jan Scannell said that, just as the impact of the recession was not immediately felt by spirits producers, so the recovery will be delayed. Distell annouced an interim dividend of ZAR1.24 per share, level with last year.