Under Philip Bowman’s command, Allied Domecq is showing the growth potential shareholders have been expecting for some year’s now. Glancing at the latest six months figures, profits from its spirits and wine division up 9% (£207m to £225m); the overall group’s profits up 16%; and Allied’s finance director, Graham Hetherington’s startling news that “for the first time, the international QSR (quick service restaurants) business has traded without any losses”. The only hiccup has been the agave crisis which has ravaged the Tequila market and hit one of the company’s core brands Sauza. The brand, and Giro, Allied’s lower grade Tequila, has fallen back 12% and could drop further because of supply problems. “To put it in perspective,” said Bowman, “this time last year agave was one peso per kilo, today it is eight pesos a kilo, a rise of 800%. No one can forecast where the market will go next.” Allied’s food and QSR business is also bucking the industry trend for food businesses. Trading profit is up 58% and the international business has turned round a loss of £5m to break-even, and the US rose from £17m to £19m. Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskins-Robbins have been revitalised by new advertising campaigns in the US, and the ice-cream stores have accelerated through a new rationalisation programme focusing on key brands in key markets.Further analysis is available

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