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William Grant & Sons posts 4% profit rise

William Grant & Sons has reported a record rise in its post-tax profits to £139.8m for 2014/15,  an increase of 4% on the previous year, despite sales declining from just over £1 billion to £933.2 million.

Stella David, William Grant & Sons’ chief executive

This, the group reported, was due to a planned reduction in the distribution of third party agency brands, which was implemented to allow the group to focus on its portfolio of core premium brands, which saw turnover increase by 9% year on year.

“This success was driven by our constant focus on brand building and investing for the long term”, said Stella David, William Grant & Sons’ chief executive. “The business and our brands are well positioned to continue their growth in 2015 and beyond.”

William Grant said its record results were achieved despite the negative foreign exchange impact and the Scotch whisky category experiencing a decline of 7% year on year to its exports.

Brands driving growth include Scotch whiskies Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, and gin brand Hendrick’s, which this year launched the world’s first Flying Cucumber dirigible – a 130 foot long, 44 foot tall airship.

Capital expenditure by the group remained at record levels, which is committed to investing €35 million in a new, state-of-the-art, Irish malt distillery being opened at Tullamore in Ireland, which will mark the return of distilling to Tullamore town after 60 years.

The new distillery will support the ongoing growth of Tullamore D.E.W., the world’s second largest Irish whiskey, which William Grant & Sons acquired in 2010.

In September last year the group acquired the Drambuie for an undisclosed sum from the MacKinnon family.

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