• Fiscal full-year 2017 sales up 1% to GBP216.7m (US$293m)
  • Group profits in 12 months to end of July surge 129% to GBP3.9m
  • Non-UK sales jump 26% to GBP64.7m
Stewart Hainsworth said the results showed the impact of Halewoods restructuring

Stewart Hainsworth said the results showed the impact of Halewood's restructuring

Overseas sales growth has helped Halewood Wines & Spirits post a strong rise in profits in the UK company's most recent fiscal year, cementing a turnaround since large losses more than two years ago.

Non-UK sales for the 12 months to 1 July were up 26% to GBP64.7m (US$87.6m), the Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer owner said yesterday. The increase saw Halewood deliver a 1% increase in overall revenue.

Group profits more than doubled in the 12-month period, up from GBP1.7m in 2016 to GBP3.9m.

The privately-owned company, which is not obliged to announce its results, said its exports expanded in the year, with an increased focus on Asia, particularly China and Thailand. Meanwhile, sales growth was driven by a new management team, with key supermarket listings gained in mid-priced and premium spirits across the world.

The results are a marked improvement on 2015, when the financial year ended with a 14% drop in sales and an operating loss of GBP8.4m.

Halewood CEO Stewart Hainsworth said the company's second year of profitability in a row showed the impact of a restructuring and change in corporate strategy. Hainsworth, who was appointed in June 2015 and has spearheaded an expansion of Halewood's portfolio, said there had been particular success for premium gins, including Whitley Neill Gin, which is now the third-largest premium gin by value in the UK off-premise.

According to the company, further acquisitions were in the pipeline to add to the brands already invested in. In the past two years, Halewood has taken stakes in companies including Sadler's Brewing Co, Hawkshead Brewery, West Cork Distillers and Liverpool Gin.

Halewood is also building a distillery in North Wales and a John Crabbies whisky distillery in Edinburgh.

Sales Channels, Marketing and Sustainability - just-drinks' Confidence Survey 2018, Part IV