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UK: Edrington Group toasts full-year, despite Cutty Sark pressures

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The Edrington Group has posted a lift in sales and profits for its latest full-year, despite rising cost pressures.

The spirits company, whose flagship brand is The Famous Grouse blended Scotch, said today (1 July) that sales in the 12 months to the end of March rose by 4.7% year-on-year to GBP291.5m (US$580.9m). Shareholders' earnings for the period were up by 17.5% at GBP38.9m.

While The Famous Grouse saw sales lift in the year, Edrington warned that its Cutty Sark whisky brand was facing "a difficult trading environment" in several markets. The Macallan whisky brand grew "strongly" across a broad range of its traditional markets whilst expanding further into new markets in Asia and Europe. "Our confidence in The Macallan is demonstrated by our plan to invest GBP20m in the distillery and associated assets in the current year, and work is progressing well on the construction of an initial two warehouses and the recommissioning of a stillhouse, which will increase the distillery's capacity by 30%," the company said.

"I am pleased to report that the group's strategy of investing in authentic premium spirits brands continues to bear fruit in what is a dynamic and growing international market," said chief executive Ian Curle. "During the past year we have grown volume, and more importantly the value of our key brands, in an industry where there is superior growth opportunities for authentic premium spirits."

Edrington noted that the general economic climate is "less optimistic" and that it is facing significant cost increases in cereals, energy, transport and packaging materials. "We are confident that we can meet these challenges through our ongoing investment in our brands, innovation, working in partnership with our suppliers and targeting key markets that offer the greatest scope for expansion," the company said.

Earlier this year, the company acquired a 61% stake in Dominican Republic-based The Brugal Company, the rum market leader in its domestic market. "I look forward to working with (the Brugal family) to develop Brugal's position in international markets," Curle added.


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