UK: William Grant & Sons FY sales rise, but profits slip

By | 1 October 2013

  • FY operating profits fall 1.2% to GBP124.8m
  • Sales up 1.4% to GBP1.06bn
  • 'Core' brand sales up 7% 
Full-year sales were up for William Grant & Sons in what it described as a challenging year

Full-year sales were up for William Grant & Sons in what it described as a challenging year

UK spirits group William Grant & Sons has seen its full-year sales edge up, but profits fell slightly after what the company described as a “challenging” year.

The privately-owned firm, which owns the Scotch brands Glenfiddich, Grant's and The Balvenie, said that operating profits in 2012 were down by 1.2% at GBP124.8m (US$201.7m). Sales in the period rose by 1.4% to GBP1.06m. 

The company’s 'core' brands saw sales increase by 7% year-on-year, it said. 

"Whilst the tough global economic conditions made 2012 a challenging year, with consumer confidence in Europe in particular remaining low, the company continued to strengthen its business by investing in core brands and global infrastructure for the long term, which explains the slight reduction in profits," the group said in a statement. 

Capital spend rose last calendar year, the company noted, including upgrades to its Glenfiddich and Tullamore D.E.W. visitor centres. 

Turning to its non-whisk(e)y brands, the company said Hendrick’s gin had seen “rapid value growth across all regions”. Its spiced rum brand Sailor Jerry also gained exposure through its first TV ad campaign.

Expert analysis

William Grant & Sons in Alcoholic Drinks (World)

Despite being only ranked as the world’s 36th biggest spirits company with only less than 1% of volumes, William Grant has proved to be one of the most dynamic and successful spirits companies posting above average volume growth since 2006 The profile looks at its current position and what more it needs to do to continue its strong growth trajectory.

Sectors: Company results, Spirits

Companies: Glenfiddich

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