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Distillery investment eats into William Grant & Sons’ profit

Scottish spirits group William Grant & Sons made £1.3 billion over the course of 2018, according to the company’s latest financial results.

Hendrick’s Distillery Night

Turnover rose 11.6% compared with last year, thanks to “healthy volume and value growth of its core brands”, it said, however the company’s 4% post-tax profit growth, to £260 million after tax, was significantly down on 2017 according to results posted on Friday.

WG&S said this was due to a number of investments in the business, including opening a new Hendrick’s Gin distillery, a new Arete packaging centre for its premium portfolio, and the company’s first bottling operation in India.

The £13 million Hendrick’s ‘gin palace’, which opened in October, comes complete with a palm house, two hot houses, two still houses, a laboratory, flavour library, lecture theatre and gin bar.

The group also launched a number of new brands last year, including Fistful of Bourbon, Discarded and Aerstone Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Simon Hunt, William Grant & Sons’ CEO, said: “We’re delighted to report another year of double digit top line growth for our business. As an independent family-owned business, we have made bold decisions to grow the business the right way by investing in our people, our brands and our infrastructure to deliver sustainable long-term growth.”

William Grant & Sons launched its first low-alcohol spirit, Atopia, in June this year, bottled at 0.5% ABV. It has also expanded its gin portfolio this year with the launch of Spanish-inspired brand Verano.

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