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David says brands 'well positioned'

Grant’s toasts record profit against sector weakness

Stella DavidWhisky distiller William Grant & Sons has today reported a record post-tax profit against a backdrop of falling sales for the industry.

Profits rose 4% to £139.8 million for 2014 in a year when challenging conditions for the sector saw exports plunge by 7%.

Group turnover fell to £933.2m, though his was entirely due to a planned reduction in the distribution of third party agency brands. This allowed more focus on the group’s owned portfolio of core premium brands, which saw turnover increase by 9% year on year.

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

Strong value growth was delivered from Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, with Hendrick’s gin continued to grow rapidly across the world.

During the year the group acquired Drambuie, the Scotch whisky liqueur brand and Grant’s says it is set to deliver long term growth.

Capital expenditure remained at record levels including a €35m investment in a new, state of the art, Irish malt distillery being opened at Tullamore in Ireland marking 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 was acquired in 2010, and has continued to outperform expectations.

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