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Published:  23 July, 2008

Distell, the new South African grouping formed out of the merger of Distillers Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (SFW), believes that it has the critical mass necessary to become a leading wine and spirits company in the global arena, enabling it to capitalise on current export growth opportunities'. Chairman David Nurek speaking at the group's first AGM in Stellenbosch, said: The merger should be viewed against the background of widespread consolidation trends in worldwide alcoholic beverage markets, resulting in the creation of global giants with dominant portfolios of increasingly international brands. While it is our goal to become a global company of South African essence, we recognise that strong performance in the domestic market is essential for international success. Consequently, the South African market continues to be a major priority for the group,' said Nurek. According to Distell managing director, Jan Scannell, the group has restructured and refocused its international operations to achieve meaningful real growth in specific markets. The group now employs 36 people in nine sales offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. It is also represented by 154 agents in 72 countries. There has been a consolidation of brands and marketing spend has been adjusted to build even stronger brands. The sales force has been restructured to serve customers more efficiently, while optimising customer profitability,' Scannell said.