Famous Grouse maker Edrington cheers return to pre-pandemic growth as record investment pays off

Edrington, the whisky maker behind Famous Grouse and The Macallan, has hailed a return to pre-pandemic growth trends and set out new environmental goals.

The spirits giant reported a strong financial performance for the year to the end of March led by flagship brand The Macallan.

The accelerated development of direct-to-consumer sales was a significant driver of growth, the firm noted, particularly in Asia. The Macallan also delivered a number of new expressions including its oldest ever, The Macallan Reach.

Core revenue jumped 45 per cent to £821.2 million during the year. The figure is up 22 per cent on the 2019/20 pre-pandemic total.

Profit before tax and exceptional items came in at £270.7m in the latest period. That is up from £171.3m a year earlier and the £222.4m pre-Covid figure.

A year ago, Edrington reported double-digit declines in annual sales and profits but said the outcome was not as bad as expected.

Commenting on the latest results, chief executive Scott McCroskie said: “Edrington has returned to the consistent growth trend we saw in the years before the pandemic, with robust performances across our core markets, particularly the USA, China and the Dominican Republic.

“Whilst the economic landscape will continue to present challenges, we have healthy brands, an effective strategy, record levels of investment in the business, great people and strong momentum. I am confident that Edrington is well-positioned to deliver sustainable success in the future.”

The Macallan single malt is Edrington's flagship brand.

The group’s Malt Whiskies business unit (comprising The Glenrothes, Highland Park and Naked Malt) performed well across key markets, growing the value of sales ahead of the increase in volume.

The Famous Grouse performed well in its core markets in northern and eastern Europe, with the strongest results in Sweden and the UK.

Brugal, Edrington’s premium rum, continued to generate “outstanding growth” in its home market of the Dominican Republic and a good performance in Spain, its top international market. Its ultra-premium expression, Brugal 1888, has doubled in size from pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, the group formed a strategic partnership with Berry Bros & Rudd, taking a significant minority stake in No.3 London Dry Gin.

Edrington also announced that it has committed to achieve net zero by 2045. The company is working with the Science Based Targets Initiative, described as the world’s first science-based corporate standard, to reduce its carbon emissions in line with a 1.5-degrees C future.

McCroskie added: “Our target of achieving net zero by 2045 is a significant increase on our previous commitment and it will touch every aspect of our business. I am proud of the progress we have made, but also clear that we have much more to do.”

Edrington is headquartered in Scotland and employs more than 3,000 people in its wholly owned and joint venture companies, with over half employed overseas. It owns its route to market in 16 countries and distributes its brands to more than 100 countries through joint ventures and third-party agreements.

Edrington’s main shareholder is The Robertson Trust, which has donated £322m to charitable causes in Scotland since 1961.

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