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UK: Edrington signals South-East Asia intent

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Edrington has South-East Asia in its sights as it seeks to expand from its China stronghold.

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The Scotch whisky maker yesterday announced a 5.2% rise in pre-tax profits in the year up to 31 March. The increase came on the back of high-margin markets, such as China, that cancelled out poor performance in southern Europe, the company said.

And in a statement on future plans, the company said a continued focus on China will dovetail with increased investment in markets to the south. 

“What this signals is the importance of Asia to Edrington,” a company spokesperson told just-drinks today.

“We're very strong in Northern Asia through China and Hong Kong and Taiwan and our intention is to make sure some of that success comes into the southern portion, South-East Asia. It's a signal of intent.”

The spokesperson also said a move last year to take control of its Maxxium distribution business in Hong Kong and mainland China has paid off.

“We look back on that and think that’s been a great success,” the spokesperson said.

“I think it's also helpful that during the course of last year we rebranded the organisation so there's a nice new identity and the distribution companies were quickly renamed as Edrington so we felt a lot more part of the family as well as delivering very, very good performances.”

Edrington directly controls distribution in eight of its markets - Taiwan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Analysts claim company CEO Ian Curle has indicated in private briefings that, while it's unlikly Edrington will buy more brands, it will look to strengthen distribution arrangements in regions it does not control routes to market.

Edrington reported a global profit jump of 40% for its Macallan brand in the 12 months leading up to April, with sales increasing in key Asian markets.
Edrington also produces The Famous Grouse and Highland Park whiskies, as well as Brugal rum. 

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