Edrington posts profits

Drinks giant Edrington has announced a rise in pre-tax profits for the year so far, driven by its Scotch category.

macallanAlongside news that pre-tax profits rose 13% to £168.6 million for the year to 31 March, the group also announced that chairman, Sir Ian Good, is to retire.

Edrington’s turnover for the year to date is £591.3m, up 6%. Sales of Famous Grouse in particular grew “significantly in both the UK and overseas.

Sales of Highland Park went up 20% compared to the same period in 2012 and those of The Macallan have risen by 40% in the last five years.

Brugal rum has seen sales growth of 22% in the US in the past year but the problems in the Eurozone meant that the company had to take the better part of a £275m hit on profits.

Difficulties in the rum’s main market, Spain, led the group to admit that future cash flows would not be as high as previously thought.

Edrington became a majority shareholder in the brand in 2008.

Nonetheless, the group reported that 91% of its total sales were made outside of the UK.

Chief executive, Ian Curle, said: “Edrington has delivered another record year of trading. In the face of challenging economic conditions in Southern Europe, our overall strength in both established and emerging markets has resulted in an increase in our turnover, profit and dividend.

“Our financial strength has underpinned significant brand share growth in key markets and this will be further strengthened by the establishment and expansion of distribution activities in the US, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa, allowing us to bring our premium brands to ever more consumers.

“The market for premium spirits continues to thrive, which will provide further development and expansion opportunities for Edrington.”

Commenting on the departure of Good after 43 years at the company, Curle added: “We will all miss his wise counsel and judgement, and wish him the very best for a happy retirement.”

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