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Cutty Sark set for sale as owner Edrington reports 7% growth

Published:  25 June, 2018

Famous Grouse, Macallan and Highland Park owner Edrington has reported a 7% uplift in sales despite ongoing challenges in the blended Scotch market.

Revenues from the group’s branded products hit £706.7m for the past financial year. Profit stood at £86.6m, down 5% due to a one off tax credit in the previous year.

The group also said it was putting the Cutty Sark Blended Scotch and Glenturret brands up for sale to allow it to focus on its core portfolio of premium brands.

Edrington reported a core contribution of £210.5m, up 7% on the previous year. Seventy six per cent of this was generated by premium brands, it said.

“Premium spirits is the fastest growing area of the spirits market,” said Edrington CEO Ian Curle. “Focussing resources and investment on the brands best equipped to compete powerfully will help Edrington to capitalise on the long term prospects from premium spirits.”

The group pledged to splash out £11m on The Macallan’s first ever global ad campaign this autumn, following a 7% surge in contribution from the brand.

Edrington claimed the single malt brand has strengthened its ‘leading position’ in the US, Taiwan and Japan in the past year.

New variants, packaging and marketing also benefitted Highland Park, with contribution growing by 15% for the brand.

The group said it also expanded The Glenrothes Single Malt brand, which it bought in April 2017, into 30 new markets and will unveil new packaging and products later this summer.

Famous Grouse and Brugal Rum increased contribution by 4%, with Grouse delivering an ‘all time high market share’ in the UK despite a challenging blended Scotch market. Brugal’s growth was driven by strong sales in Spain and the Dominican Republic.

“2017-18 was a strong year of growth and increased investment for Edrington,” said Curle. “Economic and market developments remain encouraging in the near term. All regions are experiencing an upturn in economic growth and Scotch Whisky exports are also in growth.”

Cutty Sark is blended and bottled at Edringon’s Great Western Road facility and the group intends to continue doing so for any new owner. The group said it does not expect any redundancies to arise from the sale.

Glenturret is Scotland’s oldest single malt distillery. The Crieff, Perthshire, site employs 31 staff. Edrington says it does not expect the sale to result in any redundancies and pledged to consult all staff on the sale process.