Profits soar 47% at spirits firm
New generation whisky fans help Grant to £1bn sales
New expressions of whisky brands help drive growth
Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s gin distiller William Grant & Sons said the emergence of a new generation of drinkers buying premium whisky helped the group to £1 billion of annual sales and a surge in profits.
Pre-tax profit grew 47% from £177.2 million in 2015 to £260.2m last year on turnover up 20.3% from £882.5m to £1.06bn. Post-tax profit was up 50% from £147.4m to £222.1m.
Despite a year of political and economic uncertainty, the company continued to invest in its people, brands and global infrastructure for the long term.
Favourable performance was driven by core brands, which all performed well within their categories, and foreign currency gains.
The main contributors to overall growth were Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s and The Balvenie. In addition Sailor Jerry, Monkey Shoulder, Drambuie and Tullamore D.E.W. all performed well.
Grant’s said strong growth of Glenfiddich was down to the brand attracting the next generation of premium whisky drinkers through the release of high profile expressions, for example, The Glenfiddich Experimental Series.
This Series, launched in 2016, is a range of variants, including the first single malt Scotch whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks, taking single malt in a new direction.
Hendrick’s Gin continued to lead the super-premium gin category in 2016 engaging a broader audience.
Simon Hunt, William Grant & Sons chief executive, said: “Our growth continues to be driven by our talented team’s passion for building brands the right way for the long term.
“The consistent investment in our brands, in markets and in future proofing our operational infrastructure, provides a solid platform to continue our growth.”