Distell fiscal-2017 by category and region - results data

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In late-August, Distell posted results for its fiscal-2017. Sales in the 12 months to the end of June increased by just under 6% year-on-year for the multi-category group, with volumes in the year coming in flat. Here, just-drinks breaks down Distell's figures for the period by category and by region.

Distell Full-Year Fiscal-2017 - Net Sales Contribution by Category


Source: Company results

The company's category presence is fairly evenly split across three segments. The spirits portfolio, led by the Amarula cream liqueur and augmented by the purchase of Scotland's Burn Stewart Distillers in 2013, maintained its 34.2% share of group sales in the 12-month period. Meanwhile, the wine stable was flat in the year, although 4th Street is the world's fastest-growing wine brand, the company said, citing IWSR data.

It was in cider and RTDs, though, that Distell enjoyed a healthier 12 months. The segment grew its share of group sales in fiscal-2017 from 35.7% to 36.5%, despite "aggressive beer pack/price discounting". Note that Distell's Hunter's is the world's second-largest cider brand.

Distell Full-Year Fiscal-2017 - Net Sales by Region

Source: Company results

Much as we at just-drinks are fans of a balanced geographical spread for drinks companies, Distell has been historically reliant on its domestic market. This reliance grew ever stronger in fiscal-2017 see the chart below - with South Africa's sales and volumes both on the rise, by 7.8% and 1.5%, respectively; this, despite a recession in the country.

The fore-mentioned 4th Street grew double-digits in the country, while gin delivered healthy double-digit growth through the Gordon's brand. However, Distell's whisky sales struggled, thanks to a "highly competitive" mainstream segment in the country, while brandy and vodka have "put pressure on (whisky's) value segment".

In cider and RTD, growth came in the second half due to a more "focussed approach".

As for the rest of Africa, including the Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland reporting region, sales were flat on a 5% volumes decrease. Kenya and Nigeria were the star performers, although regulatory and market challenges in Angola, Tanzania and Mozambique pulled performance in the other direction. Distell considers Africa a "long-term play" and believes it is well-placed to capitalise both on the trading-up trend from unbranded alcohol and the upward movement of income distribution in the continent.

Further afield, the company was hampered by a strong South African rand. International sales – which includes Europe – fell by 12%, despite a near-4% volumes increase. North America in particular struggled, as sales dropped 13% on a 42% slump in volumes in the region.

"Our performance in international markets …  was resilient amid … consolidation of multinational competitors entrenching their dominant positions," the company said.

Distell Full-Year Fiscal-2017 - Net Sales Contribution by Region

South Africa71.674.3
Rest of Africa13.312.9

Source: Company results

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