Whyte & Mackays FY profits flat, United Spirits to "double" the business

Whyte & Mackay's FY profits flat, United Spirits to "double" the business

The managing director of United Spirits, Vijay Rekhi, has shrugged off flat profits and a fall in sales at the Indian group's Whyte & Mackay subsidiary.

United Spirits plans to double the size of Scotland-based Whyte & Mackay within five years, Rekhi is reported as saying in an interview with India's Economic Times newspaper, published late last week. He said that the future of the business would be "brand-led".

His confidence comes despite news that Whyte & Mackay's profits were pegged back by redundancy costs and property charges in its most recent fiscal year. Net profits came in at GBP22.54m (US$35m) for the 12 months to the end of March 2010, versus GBP22.46m a year earlier, Whyte & Mackay said in accounts filed in late December.

The Dalmore and Jura Scotch whisky distiller saw sales slip by 2% for the 12-month period. Operating profits also dipped, by 2.6% to GBP44.45m, due to one-off charges of GBP7.2m.   

However, operating margins improved due to cost controls, better returns on bulk spirits sales and price increases in several markets, said the group, which is also a leading supplier of private label whisky.

To read the just-drinks interview with Whyte & Mackay's CEO, John Beard, published in early-2010, click here.