• Sales jump by 40%
  • Pre-tax profits dip on tough comparable
  • More brand investment planned - CEO
Glenfiddich helps William Grant & Sons to 40% sales rise

Glenfiddich helps William Grant & Sons to 40% sales rise

William Grant & Sons has reported a 40% jump in sales for 2009 thanks to fresh distribution deals and investment behind its core Scotch whisky brands.

Net sales for the 12 months to the end of December reached GBP838.3m (US$1.33bn), William Grant & Sons said today (1 October). The privately-held Grant's and Glenfiddich whisky distiller also reported operating profits up by 9% from 2008, to GBP103.6m.

Despite strong sales growth, William Grant's pre-tax profits fell to GBP114.7m in 2009, versus GBP129.2m in 2008, when earnings were inflated by a one-time payment.

The year marked William Grant's first full-year as distributor of Stolichnaya vodka in the US, as well as the first whole-year of a marketing and distribution venture with Remy Cointreau in France. The group has also established a marketing office in India.

"2009 was a good year for the company thanks to the continued investment behind our core brands, new distribution agreements and our improved route to market," said group CEO Stella David. She added that the distiller plans to invest further behind Glenfiddich and other core brands.

David reiterated her high hopes for Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, which William Grant recently bought from Ireland's C&C Group. William Grant also owns UK distribution business First Drinks, whose clients include Remy Cointreau, Russian Standard and Sailor Jerry.