• Six-month sales climb 9.3% to ZAR13.44bn (US$1.16bn)
  • Volumes in the six months to end of December up less impressively, by 3.7%
  • Bisquit Cognac sale driven by "unattractive" costs
Distells group sales in H1 2018 increased by almost 10%

Distell's group sales in H1 2018 increased by almost 10%

Distell has hailed healthy performances both at home and abroad in the first six months of its fiscal-2018, with Travel Retail sales leaping by mid-double digits.

The South African multi-category brand owner said late last week that sales in its first half were up year-on-year by just over 9%. The lift came on a near-4% increase in total volumes.

The performance marks an improvement on Distell's previous fiscal year, when sales in the 12 months to the end of June came in 5.8% up on the corresponding period a year earlier.

South Africa, which is by far its biggest market, posted an 8% sales rise, with brandy and gin both warranting special mention - the two spirits categories gave Distell volume growth of 13.7% and 21.3%, respectively. Across the rest of Africa, sales were up by 18.5%, with the international reporting division - effectively, the rest of the world outside Africa, up 9.4%.

GTR sales in the half-year, meanwhile, were up 43.2% for Distell.

On the bottom line, operating profits increased by almost 15% with net profits rising 8.6%.

Looking forward, Distell flagged some domestic concerns, namely the "recent strengthening of the Rand, higher grape prices and water shortages". More broadly, the group said that growth in developed and "most" emerging markets "points to a more favourable global economic outlook".

At the end of January, the group offloaded the Bisquit Dubouché et Cie Cognac business for EUR51.9m. In the results presentation, Distell said the cost to gain route-to-market access for Bisquit had been "unattractive in relation to the returns". The disposal will contribute a 1.5% decrease to group sales going forward.

To read Distell's official results statement, click here.