STRONG growth in emerging markets for spirits group Edrington – behind brands including Famous Grouse, The Macallan and Highland Park – is continuing to offset weakness in southern Europe.
Edrington highlighted particularly good performances in markets such as Russia and in the US where its Cutty Sark brand saw sales rise for the first time in 25 years.
The Famous Grouse also saw growth of 25 per cent in emerging markets during the first six months of its financial year.
While sales and market share in northern Europe, including the UK, generally held up well, sales in southern European markets such as Greece continued to be affected by economic woes.
During the period the Glasgow-headquartered group established a formal presence in Africa to target key markets of Angola, Kenya and Nigeria and upped its activity in eastern Europe with a focus on Croatia, Poland and Ukraine. In the six months to 30 September group sales increased by 6 per cent to £295.9m with profits up by 21 per cent to £84.3m, although that was partly down to early phasing of sales and shipments.
Chief executive Ian Curle said the overall figures relected a “fantastic performance by our employees in Scotland and across the world”.
“Demand for our single malt brands, led by The Macallan, remains very strong – particularly in the US. Growth in our other brands has been driven through effective marketing, brand innovation and a dynamic approach to new and developing markets.”
The US sales growth seen by its Cutty Sark brand, which featured in Martin Scorsese’s film Goodfellas, was driven by a change of distributor and increased investment.