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CANADA: Tia Maria sale boosts Corby Q3 leap

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Corby Distilleries has posted a huge leap in third-quarter income, driven by the sale of its stake in the Tia Maria Group in the period.

The Canadian company said yesterday (14 November) that net earnings for the three months to 30 September came in at C$81.9m (US$71.7m), thanks in no small part to a gain of $72.6m from the sale of its 45% investment in the Tia Maria Group to Pernod Ricard.

The sale was part of an agreement, completed in October, in which Pernod, which owns a 46% stake in Corby, will continue producing Corby's owned-brands at its production facility in Ontario.

Corby will acquire the international rights to Lamb's Rum and the Canadian rights to Seagram's Coolers as part of the deal. Additionally, Corby will gain Canadian representation of Pernod brands including Chivas Regal, Jameson Irish whiskey and Havana Club rum.

"The new strategic business relationship with Pernod Ricard was the right deal at the right time for Corby, solidifying our position as the number two company in our market and providing a very solid foundation for future growth," said Krystyna Hoeg, Corby's president and CEO.

Stripping out the sale, net earnings in the quarter came in at $10.4m, a 12% increase on the corresponding period a year earlier.

A special dividend of $1.50 per share will be payable on voting class A common shares and non-voting class B common shares. Payments will be made on 15 January to shareholders of record as of 30 November. The company also declared a dividend of $0.14 per share payable on 15 December on both sets of shares to shareholders of record as of 30 November.

"Both the special and regular dividend distributions are consistent with Corby's history of returning surplus cash to its shareholders and we are extremely pleased to continue to do so," said George McCarthy, Corby's chairman.


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