Spirits giant that owns Bruichladdich whisky tops up annual profits

The spirits giant that counts Bruichladdich Scotch whisky and The Botanist Gin among its brands has seen profits grow by about a fifth – while it also gave details of a share buyback plan.

French-headquartered Rémy Cointreau said net profit attributable to the group excluding non-recurring items in the year to March came in at €148.2 million, (£127m) up 19.4 per cent on a reported basis, and exceeding expectations.

Sales amounted to just over €1 billion, up 1.8 per cent on an organic basis and down by 1.4 per cent on a reported basis – with the group saying the performance demonstrates its resilience amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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It is proposing an ordinary dividend of €1.85 per share in respect of the 12-month period – up from €1 in the prior year.

The group in 2012 agreed to buy Islay-based whisky maker Bruichladdich for £58 million. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

In its liqueurs and spirits division, sales fell by 3.2 per cent in the year despite a 7.2 per cent jump in business in the second half.

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The House of Cointreau and the whisky business both posted a “very strong” performance, while the rest of the portfolio was stymied by weakness in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (due to the closure of the on-trade channel) and the Duty Free segment.

Rémy Cointreau also said its board has authorised the company’s chief executive to implement the share buyback programme regarding up to 1 million shares, accounting for 1.98 per cent of the share capital. The buyback programme will – subject to market conditions – expire no later than 8 December 2021.

Looking at the 2021/22 financial year, the group said it is “confident in its ability to continue to win market share in the exceptional spirits sector”. It added: “In particular, the group is anticipating an excellent start to its financial year, underpinned by very favourable base effects, shipment phasing effects, and new, structurally more buoyant consumption trends in the United States.”

Rémy Cointreau agreed to buy Islay single malt maker Bruichladdich – which was established in 1881 – for £58m in 2012, considerably higher than the £34m price tag analysts had predicted when the deal was first mooted.

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