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The Edrington Group has reported higher sales in the first half of its fiscal year and said that it remains upbeat about the second-half and will continue to invest in its premium brands.

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An increased presence in emerging markets, as well as a newly-opened office in New York, has paid off for Edrington in the first half of its fiscal year. The group's net sales rose by 2% to GBP278m (US$430.8m) for the six months to the end of September. 

Underlying net profits, excluding one-off costs and gains, rose by 7.7% on the same period of last year, to GBP32m, said the Macallan and Famous Grouse Scotch whisky distiller. These two key brands led the sales increase, with Highland Park also showing growth.

However, sales momentum over the six months slowed from that reported for Edrington's previous fiscal full-year. The previous year included, for the first time, the acquired Cutty Sark brand, making for a higher comparative. But, nevertheless, Edrington said today (25 November) that Spain and Greece have hampered its results in Europe.

There are growing concerns about how much the eurozone debt crisis will impact drinks sales. However, Edrington's CEO, Ian Curle, remains upbeat. "Although we will encounter some challenging economies and markets we’re looking forward to the second six months of the year and continuing to invest behind Edrington’s premium brands," he said.


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