Todhunter International, Inc. has posted its Q4 and fiscal year results. The producer and distributor of the Cruzan line of rums from the Virgin Islands and a leading distiller of rum and brandy, and importer and marketer of premium branded spirits announced yesterday (21 December) that for fiscal year 2004 to 30 September, sales rose to US$96.4m from US$90.4m in fiscal 2003.

Gross profit slipped, however, to US$27.7m compared to US$29.2m. Net loss in 2004 was US$908,397 compared to net income of US$3.4m in 2003.

Net sales for fiscal 2004's fourth quarter were US$26.4m compared with US$24.5m in Q4 2003. Gross profit hit US$5.3m compared to US$7.8m in the same period last year, and fourth quarter net loss was US$2.6m, or US$0.42 per diluted share, compared with net income of US$1.5m or US$0.28 per diluted share, one year ago.

Commenting on the results, Jay S. Maltby, chairman and CEO, said: "2004 was a significant investment year behind our Cruzan brand, and we anticipated losses in the premium brands business as the company spent heavily on brand promotion.

"Our other operating segments performed below expectations for the fourth quarter and the year. A contributing factor was the impact of three hurricanes striking our main manufacturing and bottling facilities in Central Florida in August and September 2004.

"Our bulk alcohol operation was impacted in 2004 by a temporary decline in the sale of our higher-profit citrus brandy and spirits and higher raw material and energy costs. Finally, our bottling operations sales did not recover as expected in the fourth quarter. Responding to the significant bottling sales decline during the last two fiscal years, the company has explored other alternatives, including further consolidation of its two bottling plants, a partial sale, and the shedding of less profitable product lines."

Todhunter International, Inc. is a major supplier of rum, brandy and wine to the beverage alcohol industry. The company also produces ultra-premium single-barrel aged rums and tropical rums, vinegar and other alcohol-related products.